The Star (Nairobi)

7 December 2012

Kenya: Lamu Youth Can't Do Port Jobs, Kibaki Told

TRANSPORT minister Amos Kimunya has revealed that the government has failed to get 1,500 youth in Lamu to take up upcoming jobs at the Lamu Port.

President Kibaki had directed that more than 1,000 youth from the area be identified and trained to take up the new jobs at the port.

He made the directive during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport early this year in Lamu.

"There are no people in Lamu to prepare for the jobs as you directed your Excellency," said Kimunya. He was responding to murmurs from the locals who had attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the second container terminal at the Mombasa port on Wednesday.

The ceremony was presided over by President Kibaki among other key government officials and Japanese Ambassador Toshihisa Takata.

Kimunya added: "We have not hit the 1,500 mark. There are no qualified youths to train." The youths were to be trained by the Transport ministry at the Kenya Ports Authority's training institution, Bandari College in Mombasa.

Kibaki's directive came after members of the civil society led by Muhuri and Save Lamu lobby groups threatened to stop the ceremony and progress of the project if locals will not be given job opportunities at the port. Muhuri's Rapid Response Programme officer Francis Auma termed the statement as an insult to the coastal people.

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