By Ronald Owili
The first berth located at the Lamu Port will be operational by June 2018 as the government exudes confidence in the 2.5 trillion shillings LAPSSET project.
Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera speaking during tour of the project said that the port which includes construction of three berths; a container yard and a causeway are currently at 12.5 percent construction work as the government looks to attract private investment for the remaining 20 berths.
Since the grand launch of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor project, pessimists questioned the viability of the project given its massive budget of 2.5 trillion shillings.
However the government is putting up a brave face on seeing the project becomes a reality even after Uganda rerouted its pipeline.
With a 10 billion shillings exchequer funding in the current financial year, progress is vivid with three berths costing 48 billion shillings under construction out of the total 23 berths.
A 400 meters causeway to evacuate containers is also being reclaimed.
Lamu-Witu-Garsen, Malindi-Isiolo roads are also up for construction to aid in container transportation.
The SGR line is to be constructed in the long term and for the affected persons such as the fishermen.
The government has been enticing global investors to fund the remaining components, with the only feasible one being an MOU with the South African government.
In the proposed budget policy statement for 2017/2018, another 10 billion shillings will be allocated for the project as the first berth is set for operation in 2018, the 3rd one in 2019 and the final one in 2020.