25 February 2013

Kenya: Lamu Port Ground Breaking Rescheduled

THE ground breaking for the construction of the first three berths of the Lamu port has been rescheduled. The ceremony, which would also have seen the Kengen electricity project being launched, was to be presided by President Mwai Kibaki, today, but has been cancelled.

The infrastructure sector advisor at the Prime Minister's office , Sylvester Kasuku said the new date will be communicated today. "The event will still be held the soonest, its only that we need to work on a few things since the president will also commission and launch many other projects in the area and that's why we want to make some confirmations," he told The Star.

The Lamu port project manager, Peter Oremo said everything is on course and they are waiting for the new dates. "There is nothing behind schedule, we are okay and set to go, once the president's office alerts us, we shall be ready to do our part," said Oremo.

Last week, Lamu residents protested claiming they were yet to be compensated after being moved. But Oremo said a meeting was held last week and it was proposed that the residents be given alternative land.

"After the environmental impact assessment was complete and a proposal that those living there should be compensated, the same was forwarded to the transport and lands ministry and instead, the lands ministry fronted the idea that they should all be given alternative land. The meeting we had ended amicably and we are now good to go," he said.

Vision 2030 assistant director, strategy and marketing, Grace Wandera said the Lamu port project under the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor will be a new source of revenue for the next 50 years and beyond.

"We are happy that even the port expansion project in Mombasa was six months ahead of schedule over berth 19, and we are even starting the construction of the second container terminal," she added.

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