• David Sanmi

Deep Water Port Inaugurated in Lamu, Kenya

Updated: May 24

President Uhuru Kenyatta has inaugurated a new deep-water port on the Kenyan island of Lamu. The port will serve as means for trade with neighboring countries.

The Lamu Port cost $3 billion and is aa part of $23 billion dollar initiative known as Lamu Port-South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), which was instituted in 2012.

Lamu Port will help reduce the stress on Mombasa port, the busiest port in East Africa. It will also facilitate the movement of goods between the country and its two neighbors to the north.

President Kenyatta expressed hope that the new port will help his country recover from the effect of the Covid pandemic and raise its economic profile on the international stage.

Speaking at the inauguration, the president said: “Lamu Port has the potential to become a premier transshipment hub for all cargo destined for the continent. This port will connect South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Eventually, it will connect northern Kenya to the Middle Belt of Africa which runs from Dakar, Senegal, in the west to Lamu in the east…Lamu Port is intended to serve the upper northern region of our country. The whole objective is to ensure the issue of marginalization is dealt with once and for all.”

When the port is completed, it will have 32 berths, with 29 funded by the private sector. This will make it the largest deep-water port in Sub-Saharan African.

The MV Cap Camel and the MV Seago Bremerhavel had the honor of being the first and second vessels to berth the new Lamu Port respectively. The former is a Singaporean container ship that pulled into the port en route to Salalah in Oman. It was coming from Port of Dar es Salam in Tanzania. The latter is carrying Kenyan avocadoes to France from Makuyu Orchards in Murang’a County.

The next phase of LAPSSET will see Lamu Port linked to northern Kenya through rail and pipelines, eventually connecting to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Senegal.

The president also flagged off the construction of the 470 kilometer Lamu-Ijara-Garissa road, which should open up economic opportunities to the youths of Kenya. He exhorted them to avoid being lured into criminal enterprises but focus on making their future better.

Also present at the commissioning event are the governor of Lamu, Fahim Twaha, Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, other governors, cabinet secretaries, diplomats and other senior government officials.

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