The envisaged expansion of Kisumu port will be a boon to the domestic economy, once the project is complete, investors have assured.
According to Managing Director of Mango Tree, Jan Shu Chun, dredging Lake Victoria to allow big ships dock at the Kisumu berth will create more work and jobs.
”We are likely to witness increased maritime investments and activities round the lake that will create more work and jobs for locals,” Chun explained
He spoke when he paid a courtesy call to the Lake Region Economic bloc offices in Kisumu, to update them on the ongoing preparations to dredge the Lake.
”We are expecting to ship gantry cranes parts in about 40 containers and assemble them here to start work,” Chun disclosed. Already they have made the orders.
This follows the purchase agreement signed by Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), and Mango Tree investors in a bid to promote blue economy.
On Wednesday, LREB Chief Executive Officer Abala Wanga disclosed they had already reclaimed the ships yard and workshops yard behind the Kisumu Hindu Cemetry.
”The place is now being cleared for the investors to set up their operations base near the Kisumu port ahead of the dredging exercise,” explained Wanga.
This is part of fresh efforts to revive maritime trade over Lake Victoria and save it from the invasive water hyacinth.
The depth between the port and the Rusinga channel in Mbita is said to be about only three metres deep.
The lake will be dredged deeper to accommodate large cargo ships that once plied the triangular trade between Kisumu, Jinja in Uganda and Mwanza in Tanzania.
Dredging of the lake will be an extension of the construction of the oil jetty on Lake Victoria’s Korando peninsular.
Abala said the jetty is expected to attract vessels which can haul up to 4.5 million tonnes of petroleum products in a single go, helping it recoup regional distribution dominance.
Upon completion, he explained Kisumu port will be able to handle upto 40,000 containers with establishment of a warehouse likely to handle 4,000 containers at a time.