Lamu port is set to begin clearing Ethiopian cargo by 15 June this year, according to multi agency team steering the project.
Speaking after an inter-agency meeting in Garissa, LAPSSET chairperson Maj Gen (Rtd) Titus Ibui, said following the meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopia Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed late last year at official inspection tour to Lamu Port Project, the government is keen to complete the project and start clearing Ethiopian cargo from Lamu port.
“We travelled by road from Mombasa to Garissa to inspect the project. The progress is good. The road between Lamu and Garsen is complete,” Ibui said.
“We have contractors on the ground in other areas to make sure by June we will have our first exports to Southern parts of Ethiopia, Hawassa Industrial Park and Adama Industrial Park which specialize in textile, motor vehicle assembly and food processing,” he added.
The team through, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeHNA) Chairman Engineer Wangai Ndirangu said the government has allocated Sh17 billion to repair the road for effective transportation of goods.
Ibui however said that the Lamu – Garsen – Garissa road is an alternative route until the completion of the railway, pipeline and road project.
Garissa Governor, Ali Korane said the county government would fully support the project which covers 400 kilometers stretch within Garissa County.
“I fully support this project because it will help our people. The county government will provide land, waive cess for construction materials and provide security for smooth implementation of the project that will turn this region into a major economic hub,” Korane said.
He urged contractors of the project to source labour from the locals in the area to boost their income especially among unemployed youth.
According the team, there will be resting places after every 100 kilometers including Hindi in Lamu, Hola and Madogo in Tana River County.
Present were Kenya Ports Authority Chairman Maj (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana, Kenya Railways Corporation Chairman Maj Gen (Rtd) Pastor Awita and acting Commissioner for Customs and Border control Pamela Ahago.
The LAPSSET Corridor Project embodies Kenya’s dream of becoming a newly industrialized middle-income economy by 2030.
The Project is intended to facilitate regional integration and interconnectivity within the African continent, through Regional Infrastructure, Social and Economic Development.
Kenya and Ethiopia have come a long way in developing the LAPSSET Corridor Project, having various bilateral agreements.
By Erick Kyalo and Jacob Songok