The Cabinet Secretary for Transport Mr. James Macharia has said that the refurbished Kisumu port is now 98 per cent complete and will be commissioned next month.
Macharia said the remaining portion will be completed in two weeks, following months of anticipation.
“After two weeks when the remaining two per cent has been completed, we can now know when it will be launched officially considering this is something involving the head of state,” he said.
The CS visited the facility on Monday and met Kenya Ports Authority MD and chairman, Kenya Railways officials and the county commissioner among other stakeholders.
The officials were and were impressed with the works so far done on the port that is seen as part of the handshake goodies.
The Kisumu port facelift is expected to restore the once vibrant East Africa hub, an area previously perceived as deliberately marginalised by the state.
The CS could not, however, confirm the exact amount used in the refurbishment of the port, saying there were still ongoing works and a balance sheet of the project would be done including auditing to know exactly how much was used.
The launch date of the project has been postponed for several months.
The money used at the port is part of theKsh2.7 billion scandal at the KPA.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has been investigating KPA MD Dr. Daniel Manduku for months due to irregular procurement practices.
MD Manduku is accused of acting like a procurement officer in the Ksh800 million. He on the other hand told investigators that he had received a presidential directive to fast-track the Kisumu works.
Last October, KPA contracted Envasses Environmental Consultants Limited in a joint venture with Eco Plan Management Limited to prepare an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) study report for the revitalisation of the Kisumu port infrastructure.
The report raised serious environmental concerns threatening the lake ecosystem following revitalisation of the port.
The authority has in the report recommended that an environment impact sssessment license be issued to the facility only after proper mitigation measures are put in place.
The report dubbed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Study Report for the Proposed Revitalisation of Kisumu Port Infrastructure dated December 2, 2019, revealed that dredging and dumping pose the highest risk to the Lake Victoria ecosystem.
Currently, the National Environment Management Authority has invited the public through a notice published in the local dailies on January 16 to submit oral or written comments on the report to assist the authority in decision-making for the project.
Traders incurred huge losses and are still grappling with how to start business afresh after their stalls were flattened by bulldozers.
The more than 10,000 locals who were affected by the demolitions within Kisumu town are optimistic the port will create employment and business opportunities.
The port will be an important transport corridor for petroleum products from the port of Mombasa into Uganda.
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