Lapsset project to be completed before 2018, Uhuru says on Lamu tour

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a public baraza at Mukunguni Square on Lamu Island, May 24, 2017. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta during a public baraza at Mukunguni Square on Lamu Island, May 24, 2017. /PSCU

The first ship will dock at the Lapsset site in Lamu county before the close of 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Uhuru and DP William Ruto

are on a four-day tour of the Coast to

solidify support for their Jubilee Party ahead of the election, which is just two months away.

The President said Lamu port will be ready for operations before the end of next year.

But a five-judge bench on Monday began hearing a petition challenging the Lapsset project.

The petition was filed by fisherman Mohamed Ali on grounds that there are no proper plans for mitigating the project's environmental effects.

Three of the five witnesses in the case urged the court to issue orders for the suspension of the Sh2.5 trillion project until the government deals with threats to marine life.

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Uhuru noted plans for a road linking the county to Isiolo and Ethiopia were underway to promote operations under the project.

He said his administration has developed the county more than past regimes that he said ignored it, causing it to be termed marginalised.

“Lamu is now connected to the national grid, and thanks to the Jubilee administration, residents now have access to electricity," he said.

"We have done the much we can to resolve land issues, including revoking ownership of [property] that had been irregularly acquired. We have also issued title deeds to residents who could only dream of owning such."

He spoke

at Mkunguni Square on Lamu Island on Wednesday afternoon.

Noting the government is one of actions, not just propaganda, Uhuru said plans were also underway for the tarmacking of

Witu-Lamu road.

He challenged the NASA principals, who were in government before, to list what they did for Kenyans while they were in power.

“All the Opposition bigwigs have been in government before but they can’t seem to point out even a single thing they did to better the lives of Kenyans."

He note his administration is keen on cooperating with leaders from all religious backgrounds as they believe in a

unified and non-discriminatory type of leadership that promotes equality for all.

“Ours is a problem-solving administration. That is why, for instance, we subsidised maize bringing the cost down to Sh90 so all Kenyans can afford it," he said.

The President said the government will set

Sh5 billion in the next financial year for free secondary school education.

Out of this amount, Sh20 million will be given to Lamu Girls' Secondary School for the construction of new dormitories.

“We want to ensure free education right from class one to form four as from next year. Let us unite to change lives in Lamu and Kenya as a whole by giving Jubilee another chance to lead this country," he said.

Ruto asked Lamu residents and other members of the public "to stop playing cards with their votes" and choose Jubilee again as it has done a lot for the people.

“Witu-Lamu road, for instance, has been here for over 40 years but nothing happened. We have only been in office for four years and are having it constructed. We want to ensure millions of youths are employed in the SGR and LAPSSET projects to cut down on unemployment," he said.

He noted the government has restored in the county, which is key to economic development.

The two leaders progressed to Hola in

Tana River.

Lamu Girls' Secondary School