President Uhuru Kenyatta is scheduled to officially launch the Ksh310 billion Lamu Port this week, as the country positions itself as a major regional economic hub.
During a LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority(LCDA) and Kenya Ports Authority(KPA) consultative meeting with County and National leaders, led by H.E Governor Fahim Twaha and County Commissioner Mr. Irungu Macharia on the planned operationalization of the multi-billion-dollar project, Lamu leaders appealed for the local content rule to be applied on the infrastructure projects to fully benefit the local community.
Governor Fahim Twaha, Lamu West MP Hon. Stanley Muthama, Women Rep Captain Ruweida Mohammed Obo, Lamu County Assembly speaker Abdul Kassim Ahmed and Members of the County Assembly lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta, LCDA and KPA for the great milestone that will make Lamu a transshipment hub for the East African region, and the larger horn of African.
Governor Twaha termed the project as a game changer saying it has anchored Lamu among the regional economic hubs, “Lamu Port and the Special Economic Zone combined have a capacity to employ thousands and inject millions of dollars into the economy opening up more opportunistic investments in Lamu, cities and urban centres; transforming Lamu into Kenya’s future Port City and Industrial Hub,” said the Governor.
With the anticipated influx of hundreds of thousands of people in Lamu, Governor Twaha expressed his concerns on overstretching the existing amenities calling on the National government to consider setting a special fund to assist in the provision of basic amenities to accommodate the growing population.
The leaders further compelled KPA to ensure the local community benefits from opportunities emanating from the Port beginning with the training of the remaining 600 youths under the LAPSSET scholarship and employment opportunities.
According to KPA and LAPSSET management, so far 100 dockers from Lamu have been hired, and will subsequently hire more staff on need basis in a competitive and transparent recruitment exercise. They added that, the 400 youths already trained under the LAPSSET scholarship program will be given first priority. All fees arrears under the LAPSSET scholarship will also be cleared by July 2021.
The leaders were later taken on a guided familiarization tour of the multi-billion-dollar project launched nine years ago. Under its original plan, the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) plan included a 32-berth port, transportation hubs for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar, an oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to Lamu Port, an oil refinery and three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana, in Northern Kenya.
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