LAPSSET Corridor Projects Updates
LAPSSET are initials which means Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor infrastructure development projects.
These mega LAPSSET Corridor projects were launched by the then president of Kenya Mr. Mwai Kibaki and his counterparts from Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. The project launch happened in Lamu County which is the epicenter of activity right now.
LAPSSET Corridor stretches 2,000 Kilometers from Lamu at the coastal region of Kenya to Moyale, the boarder town with Ethiopia and another branch connects from Isiolo to South Sudan via Turkana.
By the time we were going to press, two projects had been completed. First is the highway from Isiolo to Moyale (505 kilometers) and the Isiolo International airport with a 1.5 kilometers runway.
The Port situated in Lamu County is ongoing and we will keep you updated as the various berths gets completed.
In Fiscal Year 2018/2019, Kenya’s national government has shown commitment (through resource mobilization and allocation) to start the construction of Lamu-Bura-Garissa-Modogashe-Garba Tulla road.
This is a 530 kilometer stretch which is estimated to cost Ksh. 62 billion.
The bitumen standards road will take a duration of four years to complete. Then the loan will be repaid for 8 years after completion. This means that if the construction begins in June 2018 as reported, it will be completed by 2022.
Further repayment will be done by 2030. This mega project is expected to open up North Eastern region of Kenya to more trade and investments. A total of 10 towns of different sizes are expected to benefit from the construction of the highway.
The highway will be constructed by Five Group Construction Limited. This is a South African Company which was awarded the contract.
The Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) will finance the highway through a Public Private Partnership Model (PPP).
Operations & Maintenance
The 530-kilometer highway will be maintained for 25 years after completion . Local construction firms are expected to benefit as sub-contractors during the construction process.
Advantages of the Project
Recently, while on official duty I visited Modika in Garissa County and had a very informative discussion with the project affected persons (PAPs) and we highlighted the following advantages:
b) Improved trade
c) Increased development
d) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities
We also looked at the disadvantages as follows:
a) Impact on local culture
b) Rapid population growth
c) Disunity – once some members of the community get their compensation, they will disappear into tiny air till they exhaust their money before returning to their home. This has happened before. It won’t be a miracle.
d) Environmental degradation
f) Destruction of pasture lands
g) Population surge/increase in towns which will be affected by LAPSSET. People from various parts of Kenya will migrate with the hope of securing job opportunities in the above mentioned areas. This calls for proper physical and spatial planning from Garissa County government to facilitate organized growth of urban areas.
What can the Project Affected Persons do to get great outcomes?
Now that the project must be implemented, I call upon the local communities to take action. Fast. Below are some clues on what you can do:
- Document all meeting help between various stakeholders. If you write minutes, have representatives of all participating parties confirm and sign the minutes. Maintain a file on the same. This can be handy in terms of later follow-up on agreed issues.
- Prepare to harvest benefits from LAPSSET Corridor Projects by acquiring special education of skills by joining technical training programs such as mechanics, carpentry, masonry, welding, operation of heavy equipment or machinery, engineering, construction management and driving among others.
- Establish businesses which will take advantage of sub-contracting opportunities.
- Strategically position yourself to take advantage of the various entrepreneurial opportunities.