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Lake Victoria to be dredged

by Oloo Winnie

The Kenyan government has launched dredging of Lake Victoria to revive maritime trade and open up the lake for other economic activities. The contractor, Mango Tree Marine Limited, is expected to dredge a stretch of 61.3km starting from the pier in Kisumu and going all the way to Mbita in Homa Bay.

The exercise involves removing silt to enhance the depth to 1.6 square meters around the Kisumu pier. Once completed it will improve the refurbished Kisumu port’s capability to berth huge vessels, which will in turn help Kisumu grow into East Africa’s economic hub.

The contractor, has been tasked with expansion of the Kisumu port by 400 meters to create more room for vessels to dock.

Mbita causeway in Homa Bay would be opened to allow the gulf of the lake to breathe. This would also reduce the time wasted by vessels destined to Tanzania which were forced to go round Rusinga Island.

The project targets feeder piers within the lake to allow smaller boats to dock to ease pressure on the Port of Kisumu. Places like Asembo, Homa Bay, Kendu Bay, Muhuru Bay, Kowuor Bay, Karungu Bay, Kisumu Bay, Mbita Bay, Mfangano Bay and Port Florence in Busia as among the piers to be upgraded.

 The piers, which were the center of maritime transport in the lake in the 1980s are in a sorry state and have since been destroyed by swelling waters of the lake. The move would reposition Kisumu as the commercial hub of East Africa at the same time create job opportunities for the locals.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open the port alongside Uhuru Business Park, Kisumu-Nakuru refurbished Meter Gauge Railway line and Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium which are his key flagship projects in the area during his second term. (KNA)

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