EMPLOYMENT

In the absence of a fishing port, the rich waters are being exploited by international fishers, denying Lamu County and Kenya much needed income.

The Lamu Port, which the Transport ministry has classified as a priority project, will have 23 deep sea berths.

Upon completion of the first three berths, the Kenya Ports Authority will initially operate them before concessioning them to a private operator.

The remaining 20 deep-sea berths will be constructed and operated by the private sector. Similar arrangements for roads, railways, pipeline and other projects are being explored.

Additionally, the construction of the Sh10 billion Lamu-Witu-Garsen road has begun, while the detailed design of the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo road has been completed with ground-breaking set to take place soon.

I am glad to report that the Development Bank of Southern Africa is in discussions to fund construction of this vital road.

The report has cited challenges that lie ahead such as the need for adequate and timely compensation for affected land owners as well as threats to the livelihoods of those displaced.

The ministry has set aside Sh1 billion to compensate affected residents, including the acquisition of some 200 boats to be distributed to fishermen to boost their capacity.

I urge fellow Kenyans to avoid simply discrediting this important project as has become the norm among some commentators and pundits.

A more constructive approach would be to seek solutions. It is not by accident that the architects of Vision 2030, the blueprint to lift the country to prosperity, undertook the Lapsset corridor project.

This is our chance, as Kenyans, to gift future generations with a quality of life better than what we have and I encourage all of us to support this initiative.

Mr Nyakera is the principal secretary, State Department of Transport, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development

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