• The CS said the projects the president has been launching and the refurbished ones will have a great economic impact on the entire region.
• The CS said the recent launch of MV Uhuru at the Kisumu port has seen an increase in fuel being transported to Uganda.
Defence CS Monica Juma has defended President Uhuru Kenyatta's recent launch of several projects in his handshake partner and ODM leader Raila Odinga's Nyanza backyard.
This comes amid political perception that there are some regions which have been abandoned, including Western, despite being close to Nyanza where the president recently camped in the lead up to Madaraka Day celebrations.
In an interview with Spice FM on Wednesday, the CS said the projects the president has been launching and the refurbished ones will have a great economic impact on the entire region.
The CS said the recent launch of MV Uhuru at the Kisumu port has seen an increase in fuel being transported to Uganda.
“Since we refurbished MV Uhuru One to date, we have had upwards of 60 million tons of fuel into port belt. That has translated into the reduction of cost of fuel in Uganda,” she said.
According to her, MV Uhuru has reduced oil spillage when it was being transported by road as well as destruction of roads as well as less accidents.
Also, the CS said that the refurbished Thika-Nanyuki meter-gauge railway has changed the economy of the region in terms of haulage of cargo, cost of the cargo and reducing weight carriage on the roads.
“When the president was relaunching the Kenya Meat Commission, we had the first wagon delivery of animals from Laikipia…if you look at the commercial impact of that railway, the amount of money we spend in terms of rehabilitating it has probably been recouped many folds back,” Monica said.
She continued, “So, just revamping that railway is resuscitating the economy of that entire belt. The idea is to catalyse that development.”
The CS said that she is looking forward for the impact that the Nakuru-Kisumu rail will have once the ongoing rehabilitation is finished.
The president launched the Kisumu port during the preparation for Madaraka Day in Kisumu, after being in a deplorable state for decades.
The project cost Sh3 billion, injecting life into the economy of the lakeside city and the entire region.
The refurbishment of the port, which had been dormant for decades, started in 2019. It is deemed as the Handshake pet project.
Key in the revival of the port is the launch of revitalised wagon ferry, MV Uhuru and the Kisumu Kenya Shipyard Limited.
Kenya Shipyard Limited, a state agency, under the management of KDF, will repair, refurbish and rehabilitate ships for use in Lake Victoria.