Shipping & Logistics

Easing of Witu-Garsen night travel boost for Lamu port

lamu

A convoy of passenger buses undergoing a security check in one of the roadblocks at the Mkunumbi area along the Lamu-Garsen route. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NMG

Summary

  • This comes at a time when the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is at the final stage to start opening the second and third berths in Lamu after successfully launching the first berth in May this year.
  • This comes at a time when the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is at the final stage to start opening the second and third berths in Lamu after successfully launching the first berth in May this year.

The government’s move to partially lift the night travel ban in Lamu-Witu-Garsen road which was in place for eight years provides a new corridor to connect the newly commissioned port in Lamu with the rest of the country and the region.

The lifting of the night travel ban for cargo operators will encourage transporters to use the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor to Northern Kenya and other neighbouring countries.

This comes at a time when the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is at the final stage to start opening the second and third berths in Lamu after successfully launching the first berth in May this year.

Even though there has not been transit cargo which has been handled at the new port with the facility only doing transshipment, the lifting of the night travel ban and the opening of the two berths early next year will make the new route busy.

“The announcement to lift night ban is good even though there has been no cargo evacuated by trucks from Lamu port. But it will help in ensuring materials to build different infrastructures are delivered on time,” said Kenya Transport Association (KTA) chief executive officer Dennis Ombok.

“We are hopeful the government will continue securing the corridor and it will boost businesses once transit businesses from the Port of Lamu begins.”

Lappset corridor, which will connect the ports of Mombasa and Lamu with landlocked Ethiopia as an export route to international markets, will be the second corridor after the Northern Corridor which has been vital in evacuating cargo from the Port of Mombasa to other East African countries.

This comes at a time when the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is at the final stage to start opening the second and third berths in Lamu after successfully launching the first berth in May this year.

In July 2014, the national government banned night travelling on the Lamu-Witu-Garsen route following a spate of Al-Shabaab attacks targeting passenger and security vehicles on the road.

Apart from the new route, the government also completed the 526km Isiolo-Moyale road in the first phase of the larger corridor.