Kenya ready to launch second sea port

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that the first berth of the new Lamu Port will be opened in October.

Lamu Port is the country’s second major sea port after the Port of Mombasa. It is part of the US$24.5 billion Lamu-Port-South-Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport corridor project aimed improving trade in the region.

The President who visited the project over the weekend expressed satisfaction with the progress of the ongoing construction works at the seaport.

He said the mega project will create the much needed jobs for Kenyan youth.

“Since I was here last year, it is true you’ve worked hard. Very soon, next month, we will be here to open the first berth which I am told you will have completed,” the President announced.

“We will launch by seeing a ship dock here to offload cargo. Offloading of cargo will be the beginning of jobs not just for you alone but also for the youth of Lamu and the entire Kenya,” he told hundreds of workers who gathered to welcome him.

The President further announced that plans are underway to start the construction of a crude oil pipeline from the Turkana oilfields to the new port.

“Very soon we will start the construction of a pipeline to get oil from Turkana and bring it to this port,” President Kenyatta said.

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He asked the workers to remain vigilant and to continue working closely with security agencies in averting terrorist threats.

The government is constructing the first three berths at the planned 32-berth project, with the remaining being fronted to developers for funding.

On the ongoing road projects in the region, the President said the intention is not only to enhance national connectivity but also to attract investors to the new port and the region.

On his way to inspect the 200km Mokowe to Garsen Road, which is currently under construction, the President made a brief stopover on the link road connecting the port and the new road.

He expressed satisfaction with the speed and quality of ongoing construction works and encouraged the contractor to ensure that the project is delivered within the agreed timeframe.

At Hindi town, the President, who was accompanied by area MP Stanley Muthama and Lamu Woman MP Ruweida Obbo, cautioned residents against divisive politics and urged them to continue living together in peace and harmony. 

He said his government was implementing development projects across the country adding that development will help the country rid itself of poverty. 

President Kenyatta said the new Lamu Port, the tarmacking of the Mokowe to Garsen Road and the ongoing distribution of electricity are government projects aimed at creating new employment opportunities by attracting investors to the area.

“If we have the port, have the road and have electricity, isn’t that an expansion of Lamu? Isn’t that employment for the youth?” the President posed.

“Those who will come to collect their cargo, those who will come to set up their factories will create jobs for our youth. That’s how we want to see our Kenya moving forward,” he continued.

The President said plans are underway to build a national secondary school in the county so as to give children from Lamu an opportunity to excel just like children from the rest of the country.

The President who was on a working tour of the Coast was accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe and Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata.

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Martin Mwita is a business reporter based in Kenya. He covers equities, capital markets, trade and the East African Cooperation markets.

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