In Summary

  • Lamu County depends on the fishing industry and this is where the Lapsset project will have its biggest impact.
  • There is a need for warehousing, distribution channels, packing and other services that will all employ locals and other Kenyans.

Kenyans for the first time have a clearer picture of what the Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project will mean for Lamu County’s economy following the publication on February 13, of a report on the environmental and economic impact of the infrastructure corridor project.

The Lapsset Development Authority unveiled a detailed strategic environmental assessment report that has revealed how the county can achieve a localised industrial revolution buoyed by the massive infrastructure projects in the offing.

The report has debunked myths and misconceptions on infrastructure spending by showing the dividend projects such as Lapsset are expected to yield.

These benefits will be felt across various counties and natural justice demands that we first have a look at Lamu, where the project begins.

Lamu County depends on the fishing industry and this is where the Lapsset project will have its biggest impact.

Fishing accounts for three out of four jobs for locals but the industry is yet to scale up and diversify into value addition to create more skilled jobs to increase earnings.

As a result of lack of infrastructure, many fishermen rely on this for subsistence and not as a source of gainful employment.

However, as the report indicates, this is set to change with the proposed fishing port, which is to be a part of the larger Lamu Port.

By constructing a fishing port and creating capacity for fishermen to venture into the deep sea to exploit the rich fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone, they will be able to tap into rich waters that are home to more than 150 species.

This rich catch would then be taken to the fishing port, where value addition will be possible.

Fish fillets, fish sticks, breaded shrimp, canned tuna, fish oil and other derivatives such as fish meal will all be processed from the port for export or sold locally.

There is a need for warehousing, distribution channels, packing and other services that will all employ locals and other Kenyans.

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