Insecurity won’t affect new Lamu port’s viability, Kibicho assures


Acting Managing Director of Kenya Ports Authority, Ambassador John Mwangemi [centre] shows a section of the port to Principal Secretary for Interior Dr. Karanja Kibicho during the tour of the port by government officials on January 11, 2022. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho says an ongoing security operation in Lamu County will not dampen prospects of trade through the new Lamu Port. Speaking in Mombasa yesterday, Dr Kibicho said the operation to flush out militants behind the recent attacks would continue until Lamu County was pacified.

He said the operation, conducted by multi-agency security team, seeks to restore normalcy in the area which the government has declared a disturbing zone. Last week, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in parts of Lamu West following killings in Widho, Hindi, Milihoi and Kibaoni area.

The number of those killed in Lamu west has reached 13 after two more were killed on Monday near Kibaoni area. Six were killed at Widho Shopping Centre and one in Hindi.

Four police officers were also killed after their vehicle was hit by an explosive at Milihoi area along the Garsen-Witu-Lamu road on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Kibicho, who is the chairman of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee, said the attacks would also not stop State projects.

“The government has put in place all measures to secure Lamu. The massive security operation underway should not scare away investors,” said Kibicho. He said the government would deploy all available “effort in the world to repulse the perpetrators” behind the recent attacks. The Interior Principal Secretary led a team on a tour of government projects in Mombasa and Kwale counties. He said Mombasa Port would continue to play a critical role in the economic development of the country and called for collaboration between State agencies.

Kibicho said it was imperative for port stakeholders to work towards making the facility attractive and guarantee efficient cargo freight services to importers and exporters.

He said there is need to address delay of cargo clearance that can impact negatively on the competitiveness of the port. “The purpose of our visit is to make a follow-up on our previous similar inspection tour to familiarise ourselves with the progress of the port operations and challenges,” added Kibicho. Among areas visited by the team in charge of the implementation of projects and programmes were Mombasa Port second container terminal and Kipevu Oil Terminal.

The ongoing expansion programme, including the construction of Sh32 billion phase two of the second container terminal are part of the measures to transform the port into a logistics hub in the region.

Phase one of the second container terminal built at Sh26 billion which involved reclaiming a sea area of about 50 acres creating 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) capacity was commissioned in 2016.

Other projects to be inspected are the Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Vipingo, Liwatoni Foot Bridge, Mama Ngina Girls Secondary School, Malindi International Airport, Fish Landing Site at Shimoni and newly constructed roads in the three counties.

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