New Kisumu Port ready for launch, says PS

The first locomotive engine is taken through trial on suitability of the rails from the port to Kenya Pipeline in Kisumu on November 11, 2019. [Denish Ochieng/ Standard]

Four principal secretaries yesterday visited the Kisumu Port as part of preparations for its official opening by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Infrastructure Principal Secretary Paul Maringa yesterday led three other colleagues in an inspection tour of the project, which he said was due for opening.

The others were Joseph Njoroge (Energy), John Omenge (Mining) and Dr Gordon Kihalangwa (Public Works). Also present were a host of technical people from the line ministries.

Prof Maringa said more PSs were expected to join them for the tour, which is set to give the final report on the project.

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There were conflicting reports yesterday about when the President will be in Kisumu to open the port. Some government officials said he would visit by Friday while others said he was likely to be there towards the end of the month.

Dry run

Sources within the team that toured the port said the officials are set to conduct a dry run at the port this morning in what is said to be final tests to ensure everything is on course.

Maringa said the team is a sub-committee of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC), whose mandate is to ensure implementation of national government projects.

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“This high power delegation here is to demonstrate the value of Kisumu Port and the investment the government is putting here, as well as the concerted efforts of the accelerated works here in the past several months to ensure the port is operational,” he said.

Ahead of the launch, a blue economy conference is set to be hosted in Kisumu on Friday, which the PS said will provide a roadmap on the operationalisation of the port.

The port had initially been set for opening in August, but the event was postponed after it emerged that the works were incomplete.

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Infrastructure Principal Secretary Paul MaringaKisumu Port