Lamu, KENYA: Lamu youth allied to the Jubilee party in Lamu want President Uhuru Kenyatta to meet them and give a way forward on youth employment at the new Lamu port-LAPSSET.
This comes just a few days after the Supreme Court upheld Kenyatta’s election and subsequent win following the October 26 presidential election.
Speaking in Lamu town when they met over the issue on Wednesday, the youth said it was unfair that majority of those employed as laborers at the LAPSSET were from outside counties.
They want the president to intervene and ensure youth from Lamu are given top priority during the construction phase and even after the port operationalizes.
The Lapsset project in its entirety is projected to cost Sh.2.5 Trillion.
The construction of the first three terminals at the project is ongoing with the completion of the first terminal expected to happen by June 2018.
The other two terminals will be completed by 2020 according to the Lapsset corridor CEO Sylvetsre Kasuku.
The construction of the port headquarters has already been completed and cost Sh.866 Million.
The Youth also want the national and county government to sign a memorandum that will ensure a certain percentage of employment at the Lapsset is specifically set aside for the youth in Lamu.
“The Lapsset is in our county.We being the hosts means we should be the first beneficiaries in any given way.We need atleast 60% of employment slots during construction of the port to go to the youth here.As it is now,majority of those employed as laborers are from other counties.Those from Lamu are just a handful and that’s unfair.We feel the project has already began on a wrong footing but we hope the president cant intervene and set things straight,”said Ali Athman.
Sadique Aziz of the Lamu Jobless Youth Organization said many youth were lost in drug use due to unemployment and that the Lapsset was currently the only light at the end of the tunnel for such people.
“Even parents here are looking upon the LAPSSET to save their children from drugs.When you are busy doing something,you don’t even get the time to think about drugs and that’s why we feel we shouldn’t be short changed here,”said Aziz.