NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – At least 1,000 youths in Lamu are set to get employment following an agreement to construct a railway line linking the Lamu Port with Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to a statement from the Presidential Press Service on Thursday afternoon, President Mwai Kibaki ordered the youths in those areas to get trained to acquire skills that will equip them with knowledge to work at the Lamu Port and within the corridors of operations.
The move came hours after Kibaki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi witnessed the signing of an agreement to construct a standard gauge railway line from Port of Lamu to Addis Ababa.
Kibaki also directed for the establishment of a Technical Training College in view of the new developments of the Lamu Port Project.
“The college will be instrumental in the training of manpower requirements for the Lamu corridor project,” the statement indicated.
He also urged communities likely to be affected by the LAPSSET project to get involved and be part of the development of the project that will also benefit them.
Kibaki has also promised the residents whose assets such as land will be affected during the development of the project that they will be compensated as per the law.
The president further ordered the fast tracking of the issuance of title deeds to all eligible persons.
The directives by the president came amid concerns among the Lamu residents who fear they will be displaced following the project.
According to French News Agency, AFP, the residents are also worried that they will lose their assets including their pieces of land near the proposed location of the project.
There are also fears it will impact Lamu town – whose ancient Swahili architecture is a UN-listed World Heritage site popular with celebrities – although the port will be some 10 kilometres (six miles) away.
The government has already invited tenders to build three berths in the first phase of the project.
Kibaki was due to join Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir and Zenawi in Lamu at the proposed port site on Friday morning.
He was set to launch the construction of the Lamu Port and LAPPSET following the agreement made at State House, Nairobi on Thursday morning.
The project will see Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia expand their trade potential.