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September 22, 2018

Port ‘won’t affect Lamu Unesco heritage status’

Construction of the first berth at the Lapsset is almost done./PRAXIDES CHETI
Construction of the first berth at the Lapsset is almost done./PRAXIDES CHETI

The Lamu port will not affect the town’s status as a Unesco world heritage site.

The statement was made by the top management of the project last week.

Lamu was listed by Unesco as a world heritage site in 2001 owing to its well preserved, age-old Swahili culture.

Activists had said the upcoming mega projects in Lamu would adversely affect the town’s culture and heritage.

Speaking after touring the port site on Saturday, Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset) chairman Francis Muthaura and director general Sylvester Kasuku said the project would preserve Lamu’s status.

“We want people to rest easy and know that Lapsset is heritage friendly. The project will not in any way interfere with heritage and culture of this place,” Muthaura said.

“Infact, we are also working to ensure this region as a Unesco site is better than ever before. We are equally observing all environmental principles.”

The project plan includes a 32-berth port, and transportation hubs for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar.

The plan also includes an oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to Lamu port, an oil refinery and three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.

The two said the contractors will maintain Lamu and Manda islands’ status as historical sites.

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