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State terms Kisumu Port as best link to E.A countries

Thursday, February 17th, 2022 00:39 | By
Kisumu Port. Photo/Courtesy

Kenya said yesterday it has laid the necessary infrastructure to operationalize and reposition Kisumu Port as a business hub for the great lakes region.

Government Spokesman Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said the port which remained moribund for nearly three decades, has been linked to the Port of Mombasa through great road infrastructure and the revamped Nakuru-Kisumu Meter Gauge Railway (MGR)m line.

Goods ferried through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Naivasha, he added will be transported to Kisumu Port through the revamped MGR line for onward shipment to various destinations through Lake Victoria.

“The expansion of Rironi-Mau Summit road and construction of Ahero, Kericho and Mamboleo interchanges, were meant to facilitate seamless flow of goods from Mombasa to the western part of the country, for shipment through the port to neighbouring countries,” Oguna added.

This, he said, was set to increase trade volumes for the upgraded port as more businessmen preferred Kisumu as the route of choice to ship their goods to Uganda, Tanzania and other East African countries.

“Kisumu is a preferred route given its proximity to Uganda and Tanzania through Lake Victoria, thus reducing the number of hours taken to transport goods from Mombasa to various destinations in the two countries,” he said.

“The distance from Mombasa to Dar-es-Salam and Mombasa to Bukoba is far compared to Mombasa to Kisumu. Therefore any businessman who is quick thinking would want to get to a route that is much shorter in terms of turnaround time,” he said.

Speaking during a tour of the facility, Oguna said the government was doing everything possible to scale up business at the port. This, he added, will not only boost trade but create job opportunities directly and indirectly to benefit thousands of youths in the area.

Kisumu Port General Manager Captain William Ruto said the facility which was reopened in 2018, has witnessed tremendous growth with cargo handling up from 3,000 metric tonnes in 2019 to 54,000 metric tonnes in 2021.

Fuel from the Kenya Pipeline depot, he said, was the dominant product shipped by MV Uhuru I from the port to Uganda.

—KNA

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