•Korane says Garissa leaders and residents support project but land compensation has not yet been addressed.
• Director of the KPA Col. (Rtd). Conrad Thorpe describes Garissa as strategically placed to facilitate trade, not only from Northeastern Kenya but all of Somalia.
Garissa Governor Ali Korane said on Wednesday the county must be compensated for communally owned land before Lapsset proceeds.
He said Garissa leaders and residents are united in supporting the project but those implementing it have not addressed land compensation.
"We are happy with this project; in fact, we support it and shall facilitate its implementation," the governor said.
The group was led by a director of the Kenya Ports Authority, Col (Rtd) Conrad Thorpe and included representatives from KPA, Lapsset, KRA and Critical Infrastructure Police Unit ( CIPU).
Korane said implementation of Lapsset projects had reached a critical stage.
Garissa land is communally owned and it is not possible to deal with individuals in matters of compensation, he said.
"Communal land cannot be compulsorily acquired by the national government las it can with land owned by individuals," he said.
Korane said those implementing the project should engage the community who were keen to lease the land, not sell it.
"We need to lease that part of land to be covered by the project so that we become part and parcel of this project die for eternity, the governor said.
He also urged project implementers to consider setting up an Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Garissa for which the community was ready to give land free of charge.
A depot would assist residents in transporting locally produced goods to other markets, apart from Lamu and Mombasa.
He said such a depot will assist the residents in the transportation of locally- produced goods to other markets apart from Lamu and Mombasa.
Col Thorpe described Garissa as "strategically placed " to facilitate trade not just from Northeastern Kenya but the whole of the Somali Republic.
He said his team was on reconnaissance survey of the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo route now that the first three berths of the Lamu Port are 72 per cent completion rate.
(Edited by V. Graham)