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Chinese company suspends Lamu Ports works

Lamu Port’s 1st Berth which was completed late last year and is due to be unveiled later this year for full operationalization. Photo by KNA.

The China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) has suspended Lamu Port works over security concerns.

The Company says it is consulting with the government as it seeks re-assurance following the recent attacks on the nearby navy base.

Memo by the Company to workers, says the construction work has been suspended until  Monday next week (13th January, 2020) due to insecurity.

The Memo released  on Tuesday by the contractor, consequently says the company had released 2,000 workers who are working on the project of the three berths following concerns over their safety.

“All employees are to leave the site and go home immediately and wait for the notice to open the site,” the memo stated.

The  suspension of construction works at the Lamu Port is also likely to affect the construction of the Lamu Port Access link road which has one side of the dual carriage way completed.

The suspension further throws a spanner into the completion works of the port, which was due to be launched later this year by the President.

The project is among the key infrastructure projects the Jubilee Administration has fronted as being key to the expanding the country’s reach in manufacturing, and logistics capacity regionally.

The Lamu Port project is one of the key Vision 2030 projects  that takes in at least Sh10 billion, annually and has been projected to be one of the key socio- economic drivers that will open up the Northern- Corridor.

KPA officials contacted by KNA have however, intimated that although insecurity concerns are understandable, the National Government has given assurances that all government installations have been adequately secured.

“Consultations are currently underway to ensure that the suspension is lifted immediately,” Engineer Abdullahi Samatar (GM Infrastructure Development) and Lamu Port General Manager told KNA.

The Lamu County Commissioner, Macharia Irungu, on his part has stated that the National Government will continue to provide adequate security for public installations.

“The National Government would like to assure the Chinese contractor that although their concerns are founded, we have the capacity to ensure that no attack happens on our key installations at the crucial Lamu Port,” Irungu stated.

Sentiments echoed by Lamu County Police Commander, Perminus Kioi, whose current offices are based within the port precincts, that the police and other security agents have a well-grounded plan to ensure that no attack affects the progress of the port’s construction.

Efforts  to reach the LAPSSET Director General, Silvester Kasuku for comment on the unfolding issue hit a snag as he refused to comment and instead referred us to Kenya Ports Authority for comment.

By  Amenya Ochieng

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