Kisumu port, rail reopen economy of Lake region

Friday, February 11th, 2022 04:00 | By
New facilities at Kisumu Railway Station. PD/ALICE MBURU

The successful revival of Kisumu Port and Kenya Railways metre-gauge line has started bearing fruit, promising to boost the Lake region’s economy and that of the country at large.

Local and international companies have so far started setting up and fast-tracking strategies to use the rejuvenated port and thus boost business opportunities as well as creating job opportunities. 

The infrastructure also promises to boost regional trade as cargoes will be transported to various ports within Lake Victoria region. Hosted within the port is the Kenya Shipyard Ltd which is charged with repairing and construction of ships.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) General manager in charge of Kisumu port Captain William Ruto said ship construction in the country has stimulated investment prospecting in the region.

He said various local companies with investments in neighbouring countries are fast-tracking plans to use the ships to move their cargo. 

Palm oil imports

For example, Ruto added, Bamburi Cement Company plans to move 680 tonnes of cement per day through the Port of Kisumu to other ports in the region. 

“Bidco Uganda plans to use the port to transport 60 to per cent of crude palm oil imports from Malaysia to Uganda while KPA will also establish a passenger terminal to ease the lifting of travelers coming to collect their cargo,” he disclosed while speaking to Journalists in Kisumu.

Michael Disi, Kenya Railways Regional manager said businesses such as hotel industry and transport are expected benefit greatly from the new port. 

“Kisumu city is expected to benefit from intra-trade as more goods are expected to be lifted to and from other ports within Lake Victoria region.

Companies located in various counties have pledged to use the port to move their goods within the region,” he added.

Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna said the new port will enhance the profile of Kisumu city and its environs. 

“The rehabilitated port will position the lakeside city as the new trading hub in the east African region.  We expect new investment both local and international and thus create more jobs and general revival of the region economy “ he said during a media tour of the facility early this week.

More on Commerce