ODM leader Raila Odinga Saturday presided over the commencement of the dredging of the Kisumu Port which comes against the backdrop of efforts to revive ports and piers along the shores of Lake Victoria.
The contractor, Mango Tree Marine Limited is expected to dredge a stretch of 61.3 kilometers starting from the pier in Kisumu and going all the way to Mbita in Homa Bay.
The dredging will see larger vessels dock at Kisumu port amid efforts to grow the city into an East Africa Economic Hub.
Former Prime Minister (PM) Raila Odinga on Saturday flagged off a 70-metre long 4,000 tonne dredger signifying the beginning of the exercise which had stalled.
Raila asked the contractor to move with speed and complete the works within the stipulated time ahead of the planned reopening of the refurbished Kisumu port by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April.
The contractor, he disclosed, has also been tasked to expand the Kisumu port by 400 meters to create more room for vessels to dock.
“This port is now going to handle up to ten boats and this is going to revive economic activities in this area,” he said.
He added that besides dredging the port and piers along the lake, the Mbita causeway in Homa Bay will be opened to allow the gulf of the lake to breathe.
This, he said, will also reduce the time wasted by vessels destined to Tanzania since they are forced to go round Rusinga Island.
“The contractor is going to remove the rubbles at Mbita causeway to allow vessels heading to Tanzania to pass under the bridge to save time,” he said.
Odinga who doubles up as AU’s special envoy for infrastructure said the dredging will see the length of the port extended by another 400 meters in the next six months.
He said many business opportunities will be witnessed within the region with the revival of the port, as well as the Meter-Gauge Railway.
He noted that the meter-gauge railway line from Kisumu to Butere is also earmarked for refurbishment to move goods and people from Kisumu.
Odinga noted that the other feeder ports such as Homa Bay, Kendu Bay, Karungu Bay, Muhuru Bay, Sio Port will also be rehabilitated.
Presided over the commencement of the dredging of the Kisumu Port which comes against the backdrop of efforts to revive ports and piers along the shores of Lake Victoria. The elaborate network will also be supported by the ongoing revival of the railway line to the lakeside city. pic.twitter.com/75N2ePC9oM
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) January 23, 2021