KISUMU, Kenya, Jan 23 – The dredging of Lake Victoria commenced in earnest on Saturday as part of efforts to allow bigger ships to dock at the Kisumu Port ahead of its official opening.
Raila Odinga, the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, said the Port of Kisumu that has remained dormant since the collapse of East Africa Community in 1978 will roar back to life again.
Odinga, who commissioned the dredging exercise, said the revival of the port and Kenya Railways metre-gauge line will boost the region’s economy and that of the country at large.
He said the dredging of the port will allow more than ten ships to dock at a go noting the port’s circumference will be increased by 400 metres.
“They are going to extend the length of the Port by another 400 metres, meaning that more ships can dock in Kisumu at the same time, I am told that about ten ships can dock here at the same time,” he said.
Odinga said a Kenya Pipeline jetty at the port will serve many ships transporting fuel to the neighboring countries of Tanzania and Uganda.
He said business opportunities are set to sprout in Kisumu as a result of the revival of the port.
Odinga said other feeder ports along the gulf outside the main lake will also be revamped to make them vibrant.
The feeder ports include Karungu Bay, Homa Bay, Kendu Bay, Sio Port, Muhuru Bay and Manyala Port.
“All those feeder ports are also going to be rehabilitated so that smaller boats can go to those ports to take goods and be taken to other destinations,” he said.
Raila further noted that with the coming back of the Kenya Railway line, small towns along the railway line that went under will be revived.
“The economy collapsed in these small towns along the railway line and with the line being revived, these towns are bound to come back,” he said.
Raila was accompanied by Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem and Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o.