Kenya brings life to lakeside port
Kenya’s determination to build a multimodal transport system to serve the East African region was reinforced by the launch of the Kisumu Port which was renovated at a cost of $ 30 million.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the port will facilitate the growth of the region’s economies as it provides a holistic transportation network for goods along the northern corridor from the port of Mombasa to countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi. , South Sudan, northern Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The relaunch of the port also involved the overhaul of the MV Uhuru, a railcar ferry, and Kisumu Kenya Shipyard Limited, a state agency that will repair, refurbish and rehabilitate ships intended for use in Lake Victoria. The shipyard is also expected to embark on the construction of another vessel, the MV Uhuru 2, which will be used to transport petroleum, petroleum products and other goods to neighboring countries. The port has also been equipped with forklifts, mobile cranes and semi-trailers ready for import and export.
A $ 4.3 million maritime school that will train Kenyans and other East African nationals in ship management and other maritime activities is also among the newly commissioned facilities.
“The relaunch of this port was motivated by the need to reorganize the economies of the East African region and beyond,” President Uhuru said.
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania estimate that reviving neglected and underdeveloped Lake Victoria transport infrastructure has the potential to generate $ 60 billion in trade per year. At present, it only generates $ 6 billion for the three countries combined.
The revival of the Lake Victoria port creates a multimodal system involving road, rail and water. It will see the goods enter the East African region through the port of Mombasa, transported via the standard gauge railway to Naivasha, and transported to Kisumu by the metric gauge railway. rehabilitated. Oil tankers and freighters will then transport the goods to Uganda and northern Tanzania – countries that share the Lake Victoria coastline – and can be transported by road and train to other countries in the region.
The Lake Victoria port network also includes Mwanza, Musoma and Bukoba in Tanzania and Entebbe and Port Bell in Uganda.
As part of the renovation of the Kisumu port, Kenya has invested $ 17 million to build the Kisumu oil jetty to facilitate the transport of petroleum products across the region and to take trucks off the road. Uganda has also contracted with Mahathi Infra Uganda Ltd, a consortium of private investors, to build a $ 270 million liquid bulk jetty and accompanying infrastructure on its side.
“The revival of the port of Kisumu will improve Kenya’s social and trade relations with neighboring countries and reposition Kisumu as Kenya’s border for regional trade and logistics,” President Uhuru said.
He added that with an international airport, pier and train station, Kisumu will realize the vision of deeper integration within the East African Community trade bloc.