Agency allocates Sh2.1b to Kwale fishing port project
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has set aside Sh2.1 billion for the construction of the proposed Shimoni fishing port project in Kwale county.
Construction of the port is expected to have a positive impact on trade and economic growth through large scale exploitation of the fishing industry.
The chairman of the KPA board of directors Benjamin Tayari said the construction of Shimoni fishing port was part of efforts by the government to promote fisheries sector in the coast region.
Tayari said so far Sh2.1 billion has been set aside for the industrial fishing port adding that more funds would be injected in the project as construction work progresses.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani, Tayari said the strategic project will spur growth of the blue economy sector.
He revealed that the basic infrastructure development of the modern fishing port will be built using KPA resources.
Tayari said Kenya currently has no dedicated fishing port and that the Shimoni port, which will have a market hall, a cannery, a storage facility and a wastewater treatment facility, will be the first in the country.
The KPA chairman said they are investing a lot of resources in the development of port infrastructure that will boost fishery activities in the Indian Ocean and attract more investors in the value production chain.
Tayari noted the initial funds will be used for phase one of the civil-related infrastructure works including buildings, pavement works, roads, storm water drainage and construction of the fishing harbour.
He said the new fishing harbour would not only act as a growth engine of the coastal region’s economy but also boost the livelihoods of thousands of fisher folks in the region.
“We thank President William Ruto who has given us priority to fast track construction of Shimoni Port. We already have a contractor on site and we want to ensure that the project is undertaken within the set time frame,” said Tayari.
He said the construction of the fishing port facility including piers, integrated cold storage and ice block machines, will enable value addition for marine products.
During the visit, Governor Achani handed over the title deed for Shimoni Port to the KPA board chair.
She expressed her commitment to ensuring the successful development of the fishing port which is expected to be completed within two years.
“As a county we are ready to give all the required support to fast-track construction of the Shimoni Port,” she said.
The county boss said the devolved unit was fully in support of the fishing port project and will continue working closely with KPA to ensure the project is completed on time.
Achani said the project would transform the lives of fisher folk and lead to the growth of fish processing industries which would significantly boost job creation and economic growth for the region.
The Governor said the project will transform the fishing industry which, she said, had been underperforming because of over-reliance on traditional fishing methods.
“The construction is also expected to lead to the revitalization of the local fishing industry and improve the livelihoods of coastal communities,” said Achani.
The Governor also said the devolved unit in collaboration with the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs is undertaking various fishing infrastructure projects.
These include the renovation and rehabilitation of the Vanga fish landing site, construction of the National Mariculture Resource Centre at Shimoni, fish landing site development at Kibuyuni and fish landing site development at Gazi.