The Kenya Ports Authority is preparing to take over the management of port facilities in Kisumu.
Among these is the Kisumu port, currently owned by the Kenya Railways Corporation. The port that once handled cargo worth billions of shillings has for nearly a decade now been underutilised despite its immense potential to boost the county’s economy and generate jobs.
Other facilities include the Kisumu pier, Homa Bay, Kendu Bay, Kowuor, Asembo Bay, Mbita, Muhuru Bay, Mfangano, and Port Victoria piers, all of which are underutilised due to the effect of water hyacinth.
The takeover, which is expected to lead to the upgrading of the once vibrant ports, will also include former ports such as Miti Mbili, Mainuga in Rachuonyo, Sindo in Homa Bay, and the Lwanda Kotieno jetties.
According to the International Maritime Organisation, all ports should be manned by port authorities, but this has not been the case for the facilities in Kisumu.
The change of management comes at a time when several ships and ferries have stalled at the port, either due to mechanical problems or lack of business.
They include the giant cargo vessel, MV Uhuru, that used to rake in close to Sh2 billion for every round trip to Port Bell in Uganda.
Yesterday, a team of KPA officials toured the Kisumu port.
”The team has been here assessing the port. It has surveyed all the assets previously under the control of the Kenya Railways Corporation and taken stock,” the port’s manager, Mwalimu Disi, said.