VISITS BANNED

Lamu port project on lockdown over Covid-19

Construction will, however, proceed as scheduled.

In Summary
  • All Lapsset workers staying outside the camp were asked to report to the site before the lockdown deadline at 5 pm Tuesday.
  • The port camp has more than 2,000 casuals, the majority of whom don’t stay at the camp.

The Lapsset port project has been placed on total lockdown to counter Covid-19. 

Lamu county commissioner Irungu Macharia made the announcement on Monday after a crisis meeting between the security administration, Governor Fahim Twaha and Lapsset representatives at the county headquarters in Mokowe.

All Lapsset workers staying outside the camp were asked to report to the site before the lockdown took effect at 5 pm on Tuesday. Also in attendance were county health officials and those from the Kenya Ports Authority. 

The port camp has more than 2,000 casuals, the majority of whom don’t stay at the camp. This comes just days after the government announced that it will no longer quarantine casuals hired for the port project.

Instead, the labourers had been asked to report for work at the port during the day and go back home in the evening to avoid congestion. The construction works are undertaken by the Chinese China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), with most of the senior staff at the site being Chinese.

Macharia said the lockdown was necessary to protect workers from contracting Covid-19. He said port construction will, however, proceed as scheduled. Macharia warned that workers who fail to comply will be laid off.

The construction of the first berth the port has been completed and awaits commissioning by the President later in the year, while the other two are set to be complete by year-end. The berths project costs Sh.48 billion.

"We had a crisis meeting, visited the port and have decided that it's best to place the port under total lockdown. It's just among the raft of measures we have adopted to limit the spread of coronavirus. Those who don’t report by the deadline issued will lose their jobs,” he said.

He said all VIP visits and tours to the port site stand suspended until further notice.

Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha said his administration had taken enough precaution to deal with Covid-19, including setting up designated quarantine areas for suspected patients.

"We’ve ensured households have enough water supply to enable them to maintain cleanliness. Hand sanitiser has also been distributed in marketplaces in the county. We also have quarantine centres for coronavirus patients,” he said.