The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is set to rehabilitate feeder ports along the shores of Lake Victoria in Homa Bay County.
KPA Board Chairman Joseph Kibwana said among the feeder ports to be rehabilitated are the piers in Mbita, Homa Bay and Kendu Bay.
Kibwana said that they have sent their technical team to the sites to conduct feasibility studies before the projects kick off noting the piers were characterized by serious dilapidation and could no longer support docking of ships as was the case decades back.
“The poor state predisposes human lives to risks of drowning in the lake too,” he noted.
Kibwana made the remarks during an inspection tour of the sites Wednesday, accompanied by Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga, her Deputy Oyugi Magwanga and County Commissioner Moses Lilan.
He said upon completion of their assessment, the technical officers will inform the KPA management of what needs to be done to redeem the lost glory of the feeder ports.
“We are going to start our activities of rehabilitating the feeder ports in Homa Bay after receiving the assessment report from our technical staff. Our main objective is to rehabilitate the feeder ports to enable the people of Homa Bay benefit,” said Kibwana.
He said their intention is to ensure efficient movement of large vessels like ships and ferries from Kisumu to Mbita via Kendu Bay and Homa Bay towns through Lake Victoria.
Wanga said the project will enhance economic development in the county, adding opening Lake Victoria for transportation by the large vessels will boost the local economy.
“The local economy would benefit when ships begin carrying cargo and passengers in our county,” said Wanga.
She added the transportation will also support agricultural sector by enabling farmers to transport their produce to other counties easily.
“We are going to collaborate with KPA to promote this project so that it comes to fruition,” Wanga said.
On his part, Lilan said rehabilitating the feeder ports will reduce accidents in the lake.
“We lost ten people at Homa Bay Pier last year. Rehabilitating this place will reduce such accidents,” Lilan said.
He added that security challenges in the lake will be tackled through the rehabilitation.
“We find difficulties in accessing some parts of the lake because the piers are dilapidated. This programme will help us address security issues in the lake more efficiently,” Lilan said.
By Davis Langat