Lamu port officials have reiterated that at least 100 Lamu residents will be employed with the initial operationalization of the Lamu Port in June this year.
Kenya Ports Authority Head of Corporate Affairs Mr Bernard Osero stated that the earmarked youth are set to start training in Mombasa to give them skills that they will need once the Lamu port becomes fully operational.
Osero stated that Kenya Ports Authority had authorized the training of indigenous youths selected for the KPA Dockers jobs to coincide with the opening of the Lamu Port next month.
His sentiments were echoed by Lamu Jetty Superintendent Abdishukri Osman who added that once the Lamu Port becomes fully operational at least 500 direct jobs will be available.
Lamu Port General Manager Abdulahi Samatar on his part stated that besides the direct jobs, more indirect jobs would come up with the operationalization of the Lamu Port. “Indirect jobs and services in line with the Lamu Port operations will spur development even further, and locals should take heart that the Lamu Port project will do more than create local jobs only,” Samatar stressed.
Commenting on the issue, Lamu Women Representative Ruweida Obo said the 100 Dockers jobs although commendable are still a pittance in terms of expectations among indigenous people.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia stated that the Lamu Port project will not only create jobs for locals but also opportunities for businesses to transform the once sleepy fishing town into a regional transshipment and logistics hub.
“Housing is a major business opportunity for many local investors who own at least 80 per cent of the land around potential areas such as Hindi and Mokowe townships,” the senior administrator said adding: “This is a project that will connect regions that were previously unconnected through trade and logistics thus bursting the myth that Lamu as well as the Northern Corridor counties continue to be marginalized.
“Towns that are considered backwater areas between the six interconnected counties by LAPSSET, will begin thriving and benefit from increased human and logistical traffic once the road and oil pipeline from Turkana to Lamu is accomplished,” he added.
On the other hand, Lamu Youth Assembly Chairman Habib Omar said for the Lamu Port project to be successful, locals need to be first in line in terms of opportunities for jobs and business.
“Local investors also need to be brought into the loop once the Lamu Port becomes operational to get tenders within the project,” he stated.
By Amenya Ochieng