State to complete Sh2.6 billion fish port project in September

Mining Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Construction of the Sh2.6 billion fishing port in Shimoni, Kwale county, is expected to be complete by September.

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya said civil works were going on as planned.

"A contractor is on site and we expect that everything will be in place by September before the facility is commissioned," he said. 

Mvurya was addressing mourners in Msambweni during the burial of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Senior Corporate Communication Officer, Haji Masemo who died on New Year's Day at Pandya Memorial Hospital in Mombasa while undergoing treatment.

The CS eulogized the late Masemo as a committed and trustworthy worker.

Leaders who attended the burial were Kwale Senator Isa Juma Boy, Msambweni MP Feisal Bader, Matuga MP Kassim Tandaza and former KPA managing director Abdalah Mwaruwa. 

KPA chairman Benjamin Tayari said death had robbed them of a dedicated servant at a time when his services were needed most.

The fishing port is expected to boost value addition for the local fishing industry and contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

KPA has been spearheading the construction of the facility since last year following the directive by President William Ruto.

Maritime stakeholders contend that the dedicated fish port project will expand port infrastructure and complement the existing Mombasa and Lamu commercial seaports. 

The fish port will have ice-making, fish processing, and freezing facilities, in addition to storehouses for fishing equipment.

The facility is also likely to have a shipyard with a dedicated basin for floating docks and vessel maintenance, fishing and port-related amenities, small craft services, and access roads for seamless service delivery.

Architect James Rai, the Shimoni fish port project coordinator, said that they are fast tracking the works.

The main contractor is Southern Engineering Company Limited. The facility, will have a modern jetty measuring 75 by 30 metres with a causeway measuring 135 metres long and seven metres wide.

The fish port will also have a warehouse, a fish processing plant, cold storage, an ice-making plant, a port access road, and a commercial port gate, among other critical port facilities.

Other amenities in the pipeline include a power substation, water storage tanks, a perimeter fence, the main ablution block, a fish meal plant, a bio-digester, and waste-water management from the fish processing plant.

The construction of the fishing port is expected to improve the living standards of local fishermen and lead to a more sustainable way of fishing.

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