Shipping & Logistics

Lapsset route will not change, says CEO

Silvester Kasuku
Lapsset chief executive Silvester Kasuku. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Development Authority has said the route for the mega project will not change.

This follows claims by a section of northern Kenya leaders that the route has been altered.

In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Lapsset chief executive Silvester Kasuku confirmed that there is no plan to change any of the routes.

The leaders have been pushing for Lapsset officials to consider changing the project’s map, arguing it would save the exchequer billions of shillings, deter land speculators, preserve the existing wildlife corridor and reduce border tension in counties like Isiolo and Meru.

But Mr Kasuku said the matter has been put to rest and that the construction of the Lamu Port is on course.

He said the construction of the first three deep sea berths terminals is now at 55 percent complete with the first berth expected to be ready by June, 2019.

The three berths will cost the government Sh48 billion. The cost includes the physical construction of the three Lapsset terminals plus other activities such as preparation of the turning bay, dredging and reclamation works as well as navigation of sea waves.

“We are very much okay with the progress of the Lamu Port. Those who think there are any changes in the Lapsset route should now be informed that there is no route which was changed. The construction of the first three berths is now at about 55 per cent complete with the first berth at 72 per cent c. We expect the first berth to be ready by June, 2019 while the other two berths will be complete by the year 2020,” said Mr Kasuku.

Changing the Lapsset route would have major ramifications, specifically for thousands of speculators who have already acquired land near the proposed sites for resort cities along the project corridor.

Others were worried that a change of route for the Lapsset will lead to their regions being excluded from the crucial venture.

There are nine major cities to be established in key towns along the Lapsset Corridor.

The cities will be established in Lamu, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Moyale, Lodwar, Maralal, Wajir and Mandera.