Surveyors have started mapping out Kenya’s second transport corridor with an eye on establishing compensation for possession of land which the 2,000 kilometre project will require.
Transport ministry permanent secretary Cyrus Njiru said yesterday in Nairobi that although there will be no compulsory acquisition, local authorities in Lamu, Garissa, Moyale, and Isiolo as well as individuals will have to give up land to accommodate the project.
“We have started mapping out areas where the transport corridor will pass through from Lamu all the way to Doula. After the exercise, the government will identify those who will be affected and deserve compensation,” Dr Njiru said.
The $1.5 trillion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor is expected to open up northern Kenya for development and trade, linking the region with the coast as well as South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Besides the port, the project includes a 1,720 kilometre standard gauge railway line from Lamu to Juba; a two lane highway through Isiolo to Nakodok, a pipeline, an oil refinery, three resort cities, and three airports at Lamu, Isiolo, and Lokichogio.
The projet is supported by authorities in Kenya, South Sudan, and Ethiopia whose presidents witnessed the ground breaking ceremony two weeks ago.
“Uganda has remained our top bilateral partner in this region. We anticipate that the transport corridor will open up commercial ventures with Ethiopia which has a population of 94 million people and increase our trade volume,” Dr Njiru said.The corridor will be among key issues for discussion at an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) conference to be held in Nairobi next week.
It has attracted interest from financiers who are waiting to know funding options being considered before committing themselves to specific actions.