There is evidence that a great proportion of the 100 historic cities and nearly 200 sites on the World Heritage List are located in the developing world.  The question is asked how do these cities and sites fare against the population pressure, crumbling infrastructure and the eroding economic base of the developing world.  Increasing recognition that sustainability has environmental, social and economic dimensions helps us understand the potential role of heritage conservation.  Developing an approach to heritage conservation that respects these principles is increasingly seen as a fundamental responsibility. In fact, in many ways, heritage conservation and sustainability principles and practices fit together naturally. 

Historic Sites and Monuments in Kenya that are crucial to the country’s heritage are under threat because of lack of funds to preserve and maintain them.  Some of these sites are included in UNESCO’s  World Heritage List.  Many of these sites including  Fort Jesus in Mombasa need extensive  rehabilitation works to protect their structures especially the external walls from natural elements like the sea waves of the Indian Ocean.  Other sites have either been vandalised or have collapsed due to lack of maintenance, posing a danger to both workers and site visitors.  Lack of community involvement has also made it difficult especially where building are gazetted as national monuments.  The owners are prohibited to do repairs without permission from the National Museums of Kenya who are the mandated  custodian of Historic Sites and National Monuments.  

The introductory section of the paper discusses the importance of conservation and preservation of a National Heritage.  It further explores  the main challenges faced in the conservation and preservation of historic sites and National Monuments in Kenya. The final part gives several recommendations.  

A major  recommendation is in adopting measures that promote access to  more funds for conservation and maintenance from the  national to county governments through sensitization and awareness creation.

Another recommendation is the community involvement in the conservation of the building and heritage sites in towns where they live and encouraging communities to share in income derived from local sites by the national government.  The promotion of consultation is a critical part of the conservation decision-making process, ensuring that a transparent and open process is put in place.