400 students benefit from Lapsset scholarship in Lamu

A street in UNESCO listed Lamu old town. PHOTO/ FILE.

Lamu, KENYA: A total of 400 students have so far been able to benefit from the presidential Lapsset scholarship programme in Lamu in line with the national government’s promise in 2012.

Former president Mwai Kibaki pledged that the national government would offer scholarships to 1000 youth from Lamu county to enable them to acquire skills in port-related matters that will enable them to be employed at the new Lamu port Lapsset when it officially commences operations.

Speaking in Lamu on Wednesday, Lapsset General Director Sylvestre Kasuku said currently, over 400 students have been admitted to various institutions and colleges across the country to pursue port-related courses.

Kasuku said the admission of students into the scholarship programme shall continue until the entire 1000 student goal has been attained.

He said however contrary to popular belief, the training is meant to equip the students with skills that will see them employed not just by the Lapsset but also by various companies and organizations in the country and beyond.

“The government is keen to ensure that Lamu youth benefit maximumly from the Lapsset.That’s why we are still pushing through with the presidential Lapsset scholarship programme.We have so far trained over 400 and we expect to admit more in the course of this and next years,” said Kasuku.

Leaders and residents are upbeat that the Lapsset scholarships will enable the youth to get employed at the port once it operationalizes and thereby change livelihoods.

Lamu east MP Athman Shariff said the Lapsset carries a lot of potentials that will revolutionize the economy of Lamu.

“The project is at about 40-50% complete.We expect the first ship to dock at the Lapsset before the end of next year,” said Shariff.

Residents said the scholarships had also boosted the girl child education in the region.

“I am among the few girls who benefitted from the programme and now I am in college.Had it not been for the scholarship, I really doubt I would have continued with my higher education.A few other girls from Lamu have also benefitted and we are glad,” said Samira Ahmed.

Residents are however calling for the speedy absorption and admission of the remaining number of students into colleges.