By Jolly Gwari
The renovated port is expected to be officially commissioned by the President of Ugandan Yoweri Museveni, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi on August 15 this month. More so, the East African heads of states have already confirmed their attendance and that is President Museveni, Felix Tsishekedi and Paul Kagame, and Tazanian’s John Maghufuli.
This will be the single largest infrastructural project bringing together all the five countries, a signal to the journey towards the revival of the blue economy in the region and position Kisumu strategically in marine activities, including the oil jetty launch. President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Saturday toured Kisumu inland port to check on the progress of the ongoing rehabilitation works ahead of the launch this month. The State is working round the clock in conjunction with Raila Odinga’s office to ensure the port opening ceremony is a success.
Notably, there is increased activity on the lakeside city of Kisumu with top state officials trooping in and out of town to make sure everything goes according to plans. Country’s security agencies are also shifting their base to Kisumu for the duration of the visit as well as for the port security. Already Kenya Navy has plans to open its barracks in Kisumu’s Kodiaga area.
The Kisumu port expansion started early this year when the government pumped a record of 3 billion shillings to the project. It is envisaged that once it is opened, it will open up Kisumu to the rest of Africa due to its strategic position. All four East African countries will fully depend on the port for trade. The port is estimated to be creating 10, 00 jobs.