Government to build more jetties in Lamu

Photo of a section of the Lamu customs jetty closed off in March after it collapsed. The government is yet to commence rehabilitation of the Lamu jetties PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu,KENYA:The national government has announced plans to build more routes and jetties to aid movement of people between the various far flung islands in Lamu county.

The move is meant to boost and ease intra-county trade.

The Lamu Archipelago is made up of more than 35 islands that include the Lamu old Town,Siyu, Pate, Faza, Kizingitini, Ndau, Mkokoni, Kiwayu, Kiunga among others.

All these islands are located hundreds of kilometers away from each other and can only be accessed using boats and dhows.

Most of the time,the islanders or visitors moving between the islands have to pay heavy transport fee for movement.

Speaking on his two day tours of Lamu county on Thursday,Transport and Infrastructure PS Paul Maringa said plans are underway to construct a modern jetty at Magogoni area connecting Pate island to the Lapsset project area in Kililana as well as the neighboring areas of Mokowe and Hindi with the major objective of boosting not only transport but also trade in the region.

The new jetty which is expected to cost between Sh.35 to 60 Million will be located just metres away from the Magogoni naval base in Lamu West.

The PS however dismissed speculation and rumors that the intended new jetty will seal off some major roads and sea routes in the area.

Maringa said Lamu being a huge hub and frontier in the coming years owing to the numerous mega million dollar projects coming up,there was need for the region to equally march up with improved transport infrastructure among others.

“We are already working on setting up a new jetty at Magogoni.Our major goal is to improve transport,trade and many other commercial activities around the Lapsset project.The plan will equally improve shipping and commercial logistics considering Lamu is quickly transporming into both and industrial and trade hub with the likes of the Lapsset in place.No roads or sea routes are going to be closed down,infact we shall boost even those,”said Maringa.

Lamu deputy governor Abdulhakim Aboud who accompanied the PS on his tour appealed to locals to embrace and support national government projects in Lamu.

He said for 55 years since independence,Lamu has been marginalized by successive regimes but thanked the Jubilee regime for paying special attention to the region.

“Lamu has seen favor in the eyes of president Uhuru Kenyatta and as a leadership we have noticed and are grateful.Its time we grew and live the life we would have lived many years ago,had we been considered by past regimes.We will support all national projects in any way we can so Lamu can transform,”said Aboud.

The PS commenced his Lamu tour on Wednesday by inspecting the various jetties that are dilapidated and in urgent need of attention after which he announced that treasury had finally released Sh.649 Million for the rehabilitation of the jetties.

Works on the jetties which are key to Lamu’s marine transport commence next month.