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Kibaki commissions Isiolo airport

COUNTIES
By - | February 9th 2013

By Hassan Huka

KENYA: President Kibaki has commissioned the 1.4km runway in first phase of the Isiolo International Airport and second phase of a passenger terminus.

He said upgrading Isiolo airstrip to an international airport would open up development in northern Kenya.

The second phase includes car parks and a modern passenger terminal to handle over 600,000 people annually.

Speaking at the event on Friday, the President urged contractors to adhere to high professional standards and strict time lines.

The passenger terminal building is expected to be complete in two years.

Isiolo International Airport is the first of its kind in the region and it will serve the northern part of the country.

Isiolo is also set to become a resort city in line with Vision 2030. Kibaki said Isiolo, as a key part of the Lapsset project would compliment other infrastructural projects the Government is undertaking.

The facility will play significant role in connecting the Horn of Africa countries due to its strategic location.

The airport, which sits on 800-acre land, will also open up Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and counties. The runway was completed in July last year.

Three potential investors have shown interest to put up modern refrigeration facilities for organic grass and beef for export.

The catchment area for the airport include the neighbouring counties of Samburu, Marsabit, Wajir, Meru, Laikipia and Nyeri targeting agricultural and animal produce exports.

Kibaki encouraged the Ministry of Livestock Development to partner with livestock farmers to improve animal quality and benefit from the airport.

He also urged investors to put up slaughterhouses and storage facilities to add value to animal products before they are exported.

Construction of an abattoir in Isiolo is almost complete and it will serve the region and part of southern Ethiopia.

“The livestock industry will greatly benefit from this airport, especially in regard to exporting livestock products to key markets in Asia and Middle East,” Kibaki said.

He also warned poachers against the vice, saying it was threatening the tourism industry.

Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director Stephen Gichuki said the airport would enable local and foreign investors reach international markets.

Cabinet ministers Amos Kimunya, Mohamed Kuti among others and permanent secretaries were present.

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