Mombasa residents are counting on a new multi-million industrial park to fill in the gap created by a directive to have port-bound cargo moved by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight service.
The directive is reported to have knocked down several job opportunities with those in the road transport worst hit.
The industrial park will be established on a 600-acre plot at Miritini in Mombasa west to raise exports and create jobs for locals.
At the launch, Deputy Governor William Kingi on Friday said the county government was working closely with Trade Mark East Africa to implement the project.
“As Mombasa suffered a loss of economic opportunities, we decided as a county to establish an industrial park at Miritini on a 600-acre plot. This is the county’s initiative to diversify opportunities for Mombasa,” said Dr Kingi.
In October last year, a report by the University of Nairobi's School of Business indicated that implementation of SGR freight train complete with preferential transport rates had led to thousands of job losses in the region's logistics sector.
The report also showed that besides the closure of several private logistics companies, the haphazard implementation of the freight service has shrunk Mombasa’s economy by 12 per cent since last year and led to 3,100 jobs losses in the same period.
It projects that by the end of this year several towns on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway will wilt leading to 8,111 job losses.
Dr Kingi spoke at the governor’s office where he represented Joho at the signing of a pact with Trade Mark East Africa on the construction of Mbaraki road at a cost of about Sh270 million as part of a programme to decongest Mombasa town.