Lamu will be developed into a city of more than 1.1 million people when a proposed transport corridor linking Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia is completed.
The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor is expected to create jobs for 424,800 people who will be based in Lamu, working with various companies expected to set up base in the envisioned port city.
According to Atkins Acuity, consultants hired to develop an investment framework for Lamu, said the city would be transformed into a special economic zone to attract investors.
Lapsset Corridor will connect Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan through highways, railway as well as a crude oil pipeline to Turkana and a refined petroleum products pipeline. The corridor will also include resort cities and airports. “The port makes Lamu a strategic point within the Lapsset Corridor serving as an entry point for goods and people as well as an ideal logistics hub and port city,” said Lapsset Corridor Development Authority Director General Silvester Kasuku. He spoke yesterday during the launch of the Integrated Investment Framework for Lamu County.
The consultants have proposed a three phase approach to develop the city, with the initial phase expected to bring about 56,800 people to Lamu, of which 21,900 will be employed by different Government agencies and private sector companies.
Lamu to Miritini
These will largely be working on setting up the infrastructure on which the city stands. The number of people employed in Lamu will grow to 177,000 as firms set up before reaching 424,000 when the corridor is complete.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said there are plans to link the Lapsset Corridor with the Northern Corridor, with the expectation that the two corridors will complement each.
“There are plans to do a railway line from Lamu to Miritini that will link the two corridors. We already have preliminary plans and now want to look into modalities of how this will be done,” he said.
He said the Government has so far spent Sh48 billion in different infrastructural works in Lamu and neighbouring counties. It has in the 2017/18 financial year allocated Sh10 billion, which Macharia said would be spent on completing the first three berths of the Lamu Port that are expected to be operational by next year. The port will have a total of 32 berths.
Macharia added that the Lapsset Corridor, which has been estimated to cost Sh4 trillion, would heavily depend on investments by private sector. “The first three berths of the Lamu will be ready for commissioning in March 2018,” he said.
“We are focused on ensuring that work on this corridor moves fast by bringing on board private sector players as well as having the Government investment substantially in infrastructure to show our commitment.”