•Speaking after an inter-agency meeting in Garissa, Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport chairperson Titus Ibui said the government is keen to complete the project and start clearing Ethiopian cargo from Lamu port.
•Kenya and Ethiopia have come a long way in developing the project, having various bilateral agreements.
Lamu port is set to begin operating this year by clearing Ethiopian cargo on June 15 according to the multi-agency team steering the project.
Speaking after an inter-agency meeting in Garissa, Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport chairperson Titus Ibui said the government is keen to complete the project and start clearing Ethiopian cargo from Lamu port.
This is after a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed late last year and an official inspection tour of the Lamu Port project.
“We travelled by road from Mombasa to Garissa to inspect the project. 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 specialise in textile, motor vehicle assembly and food processing,” he said.
The team, Kenya National Highways Authority chairman Wangai Ndirangu, said the government has allocated Sh17 billion to repair the road for effective transportation of goods.
Ibui however said the Lamu - Garsen - Garissa 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 400km stretch within Garissa.
“I fully support this project because it will help our people. The county government will provide land, wave cess for construction materials and provide security for smooth implementation of the project that will turn this region to a major economic hub”, Korane said.
He urged the project contractors to source labour from the locals in the area to boost their income, especially among the unemployed youth.
According to the team, there will be resting places after every 100 kilometres including Hindi in Lamu, Hola and Madogo in Tana River.
Present were Kenya Ports Authority Chairman Joseph Kibwana, Kenya Railways Corporation Chairman Francis Awiti and acting commissioner for customs and border control Pamela Ahago.
The Lapsset corridor project embodies Kenya’s dream of becoming a newly industrial middle-income economy by 2030.
The project is meant 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 project, having various bilateral agreements.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris