Machakos leather park to open by end of year


Guests during a Ngozi Leather Park investor briefing. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Kenya’s industrial leather park in Machakos will be ready for use by end of this year, officials have said.

The park to be granted export processing zone status, is expected to revolutionise the leather value chain, creating a new market for skins and hides.

“Kenya’s Ngozi Leather Park will be ready for occupation by December 2021 when the effluence plant will be complete and facilities for firms to occupy are ready,” said acting director, at the Directorate of Agro–Industries under the Trade and Industrialisation ministry, Simon Atebe.

He spoke during a meeting with industry stakeholders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Egypt.

The park sitting on a 500-acre land is designed to be a one-stop shop for leather, leather goods and related industries, including tanneries.

A tannery requires huge amounts of water, power and an effluent treatment plant to operate efficiently. The affluent plant is the biggest incentive to investors at the park.

The completion of the project has been delayed for years due to the slow construction of an effluent treatment plant.

Kenya’s leather sector has failed to hit its potential die to exports of semi-processed leather commonly known as wet-blue, smuggling of raw hides and skins and influx of illicit leather in the market.

Leather export value dropped to Sh2.95 billion in 2019 from Sh4.42 billion in 2018, according to the Economic Survey 2020.