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November 14, 2018

Marsabit one-stop border point to start operations this month

CRISIS: Lack of water in Marsabit County has affected the locals for years and scared away potential investors
CRISIS: Lack of water in Marsabit County has affected the locals for years and scared away potential investors

Operations at the one-stop border point in Marsabit county will begin operations in three weeks after completion of the facility.

The border point, which links Kenya and Ethiopia, is expected to consolidate border control functions through the shared space.

Funded by the African Development Bank at Sh843 million, the border point was part of the larger LAPSSET project, including the Trans-Africa Highway.

Kenya completed construction of its border post in November and was waiting for the Ethiopian side to complete its post.

Speaking to the Star, Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani said the Ethiopian post is almost complete.

“In about three weeks we expect the President to come and officially launch the border point so that we can begin operations. It is going to open up opportunities in this region a great deal,” he said.

 BORDER POINT PRESENTS A FORTUNE FOR MARSABIT

The governor said the border point will reduce transit costs incurred during cross-border movement.

Just like Salga and Mtito Andei, which emerged as a stopover for transit trailers, Marsabit is also expected to gain growth as Ethiopia will be dependent on the Lamu Port.

“As you understand, Ethiopia is a landlocked country and has been largely depending on the Eritrea Port for import goods. But with the completion of the border point, it will turn to Kenya,” Yatani said.

The post is expected to increase public safety at the border.

Kenya and Ethiopia signed a bilateral agreement in 2011 to develop the joint border point and road that will enhance bilateral trade.

Among other offices expected to be put up at the border are a revenue agency and immigration department offices to control movement of goods and people between the two countries.

 PRESIDENT’S VISIT

During the launch, President Uhuru Kenyatta is also expected to pay a visit to North Horr subcounty, the area worst-hit by the prolonged drought in Kenya.

Residents have lost about 60 per cent of their animals, which are their main source of livelihoods.

In December, the President promised to visit the region.

“No sitting President in the history of Kenya has ever visited North Horr. If the President comes then that will make history,” Yatani said.

Uhuru is expected to campaign in the region, which voted mostly for ODM in the March 4, 2013, election.

Marsabit has been mapped as one of the swing counties for the Jubilee Party and the opposition.

Last week, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta visited the region to donate food to hunger-stricken residents.

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