Lamu Port to complement Kilindini Port services – LAPSSET Authority
The LAPSSET Authority has affirmed that the Lamu Port will complement Kilindini Port services from next after the completion of the first berth in June 2018.
Construction of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project is currently at 40 percent.
LAPSSET Chairman Francis Muthaura has also reiterated that the construction of the first three berths remains on schedule with the first berth set to be launched next year in June.
“The National government has been allocating Sh. 10 billion to the project since its inception in 2012 to date, and the progress has been remarkable with a lot of works being done to ensure the realisation of the first three berths,” Muthaura stated.
Speaking Thursday during the LAPSSET Board’s tour of the project in Lamu, he also revealed that the next major project will be the roads connecting the port to the upper eastern corridor.
Kenya recently signed a $620m deal to build 530 km of highway from Lamu on the coast to the central town of Isiolo.
The road will be part of the LAPSSET corridor, which aims to construct 2,000 km of roads linking Ethiopia and South Sudan to Kenya’s ports by 2030.
“The commercial agreement for the Design, Build, Finance, Maintain, Operate and transfer of the 530 Kilometers Lamu – Garissa – Isiolo Road, a component of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Development Corridor,” the Chairman stated.
He further stated that the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo LAPSSET highway will further unlock numerous investment opportunities in the area it traverses, spurring economic growth and transformation of areas that were previously perceived to be marginalized.
Concurrently the other project will be ensuring that there is clean piped water supply to the port city, which he noted was lacking in Lamu.
The sentiments were echoed by LAPSSET Director General Silvester Kasuku who stated that the project has been informed by the increased demand for port services in the country.
“It is projected that after 2022, the Kilindini Port’s capacity for cargo handling and port services will have peaked and that is why the LAPSSET project was deliberately thought out and actioned,” Kasuku stated.
The Director General further stated that the demand for port services is also high among our neighbouring landlocked countries, adding that the demand will only increase with over the years.
He expressed optimism that the Lamu port will be the locus of development in Lamu after next year, when the first berth will be completed with the first ship expected to dock next year.
“Evidence shows that the Kilindini port is the nucleus of development in Mombasa and everything commerce centres on the port,” Kasuku stated, adding that the same effect will be felt in Lamu in the coming years.
He said that the project will enable Lamu to expand into a commercial hub and help increase the county’s profile.
Kasuku however refuted claims that the Lamu Port is meant to rival and sideline the Kilindini port.
“There may be fears that the Lamu Port project will overshadow the Mombasa, quite the contrary as it will build on the country’s profile as one of the continents premier destinations for port services on a global scale,” the Director General stated.
By Amenya Ochieng