LAMU PORT

Lamu village roars to life during launch of port

Uhuru commissions first berth at Lamu Port

In Summary

• President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday launched the first berth of the Lamu Port.

• The Head of State described the launch of the Lamu's first berth as a "momentus feat."

A once a sleepy village, tucked in a thicket of mangroves opposite Pate and Manda Islands of Lamu archipelago, Kilalani has shot to the limelight.

Kilalani is where the multibillion-shilling Lamu Port occupies 1,000 acres of once  idle land.

Pate Island native Abdulrahman Mohammed said the natives of Kilalani were fishermen.

About 4,500 fishermen, who were displaced by the Lamu Port project, are set to benefit from a Sh1.7 billion payout as compensation from Kenya Ports Authority.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday launched the first berth of the Lamu Port.

The Head of State described the launch of the Lamu's first berth as a "momentus feat."

The first berth, which is 100 percent complete, is now ready for use. Berth two and three, which are 90 percent and 70 percent complete, will be ready for operations in July and October respectively.

The journey to build the Lamu Port started in 2012, during the administration of then President Mwai Kibaki.

President Uhuru said immediately after the ground breaking in 2012, the project was delayed until 2015.

'When we started the project, doubting Thomases said it will not be achieved. Today, we are here for a new chapter. The doubting naysers are now ashamed, " said Uhuru.

The President equated Lamu Port development to that of the Jomo Kenya International Airport in 1978.

He said people doubted his father Jomo Kenyatta, but today the airport has capacity to handle seven million passengers annually.

He said the Lamu Port will bring a fortune to the residents.