29 January 2013

Kenya: Port Works to Begin February

THE construction of the multi-billion Lamu port project is set to commence mid next month, after a ground breaking ceremony to be officiated by President Mwai Kibaki.

Project manager Peter Oremo saidefforts to ensure sustainable development have been taken into consideration. He said the project will not interfere with the delicate cultural heritage of the town.

The locals have expressed fears that the building of port will eat into their heritage sites.Speaking in Lamu at the weekend, Oremo said the port will have at least 35 berths, and a channel of 18m deep to accommodate larger vessels than those handled by Mombasa port .

He spoke as a delegation of Kenya Tourism Board officials, Kenya Ports Authority among others, received some 500 tourists in Lamu when their vessel, MV Astor, anchored at the high seas.

"With such a port, it will in future see more cruise ships tour the region and thus, expansion of business," said Oremo.The official noted that the government has already conducted adequate studies to ensure that all is going on as planned.

"The procurement is going on to identify the contractors, and we hope that by next month, we shall do the ground breaking, so that construction starts. This will be the biggest ports in the region and is set to improve infrastructure, without interfering with the cultural heritage of the area, since it will be a modern city outside Lamu," added Oremo.

The official noted that the Lamu port is part of the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor, will include modern railway lines, airports, roads, in the Sh2Trillion project, set to change the face of Lamu region.

"First things first, we have to handle the project as carefully as planned for and we are within the timeframe, so far so good," he added.

The official also noted that the Lamu port will be one of the biggest in Africa and will serve a large number of vessels and other activities.

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