The stakeholder’s forum on engagement for the preparation of a preliminary master plan for Lamu Port City and investment framework took a twist after leaders and the Lamu people claimed that they have been side line by the authority.
The forum which was held at Mwanaarafa hall yesterday brought together Lamu political leaders, Lamu community and the representative from the Lapsset authority.
The project will involve the following components:
- Construction of a port at Manda Bay
- Lamu Standard gauge railway line to Juba and Addis Ababa the South Sudanese and Ethiopian capitals respectively
- Road network
- Oil pipelines (South Sudan and Ethiopia)
- Oil refinery at Bargoni
- Three air ports and three resort cities (Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana shores)
People were concerned with the way things are done without their knowledge. A number of issues were raised include the promise by former president Mwai Kibaki to provide 1000 scholarship for the Lamu youth which they claimed only 400 students have been listed so far.
On fishing,which is a source of lively hood for many people in Lamu disagreed on the closing of Mkanda channel or be forced to wait for one hour for the big vessel to pass. Also, the fisherman asked the Lapsset authority to compensate them in cash in oppose to the plan to buy for them fishing equipment.
On employment, the claimed people from outside the county are recruited for the job. On the other hands, the farmers from Witu asked the authority to compensate them for their land that the road and railway will pass on. On responding to the issue an expert assured the people of Lamu that Mkanda channel will not be closed. Also, he said in the next few months they will set up the office in Lamu so that people can access the
On her side CEC for land in Lamu County, Fahima Arafat assured the congregation that the executive and the Lamu county assembly will work for hand in hand to make sure that the Lamu people get their right. She also proposed to the authority that they should conduct public participation forum inward level in order to reach the common mwananchi in the grass root level.