Kenya’s newest port, Lamu Port is anticipating more shipping lines to make use of the facility especially for handling goods destined for the northern parts of the country and neighbouring countries.
The port received its 44th ship Wednesday since launch in May 2021, MV African Swan with 7,300 metric tonnnes of relief food destined for Kakuma and Daddab refugee camps and areas affected by drought in northern Kenya.
Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor Manager Salim Bunu said the operationalization of the facility is an important step towards opening up the northern region.
“Most of the northern parts of the country have not been developed properly because of poor road network. LAPPSSET as a corridor is meant to open up that region and the entire country so that all the counties participate in economic development,” said Bunu.
The port which is also used for transshipment of cargo has so far employed 100 locals to help in the offloading of ships, a figure which is expected to rise in the near future.
Besides direct employment, Lamu County has similarly seen explosion of economic activities in areas around the port such establishment of food outlets, fuel stations as well as increased local revenue from trucks using the facility.
“We have been handling transshipment containers since the beginning of the year. And we would like shippers to make use of the facility. Even those seeking to build cargo sheds and grain handling facilities can now invest in Lamu,” added Vincent Sidai, Lamu Port General Manager.
The cargo by the World Food Programme (WFP) from Djibouti includes sorghum, millet and yellow split cowpeas which are to benefit affected regions.
“This is the first time that we have brought food into Lamu Port. We are looking to this food to provide support to two of our operations within Kenya,” said Shane Prigge, WFP Head of Supply Chain.