Sh20b fishing port takes off after five-year delay

Officials on an inspection tour of Shimoni Fishing Port, 2019. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

Plans to build the fishing port started way back in 2017 when former President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the site.

KPA management has since worked closely with the Kwale County Government in an effort to implement the project that is expected to change the fortunes of thousands of local fishermen and residents.

The project which is key for the blue economy sector is expected to enhance trade and value addition for fishermen in Diani, Msambweni, Shimoni and Vanga.

Local fishermen have expressed excitement over the implementation of the project. Said Shee said completion of the tarmacking of the Kanana-Shimoni road, and now the planned construction of the fishing port, will open up Shimoni for rapid economic growth.

"We expect our economic fortunes to change. The fishing port will open up Shimoni to trade and job creation," said Mr Shee.

The fishing harbour will cost a total of Sh20 billion. Phase one of the project is expected to cost Sh2.6 billion. There will also be a fish market where fishermen will be free to sell their catch.

In February last year, KPA acting managing director John Mwangemi announced in Kwale that construction was to start in April but this again delayed.

Mwangemi said KPA has set aside Sh2.6 billion for phase one of the project that is to take 24 months to be completed. He observed that the project would come with diverse economic opportunities.

It will include the construction of a jetty, refurbishment of current offices, construction of a yard, cold storage facilities and a fish market.

The government is also constructing a fish landing facility and cold storage facilities at Liwatoni in Mombasa to enhance value addition and job creation.

Also in the pipeline is the establishment of a mega fish storage facility and processor in Lamu County that will enable the country export seafood.