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EXPERT COMMENT: Launching Kisumu port will transform city and region

Tom Melchizedek

Aug. 11, 2019

Launching the Kisumu Port next week by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga and the presidents of Uganda and the DRC will be momentous for Kisumu. There will be exponential growth in the movement of goods and people, equalling markets. Kisumu will be able to showcase its products.
But more importantly, people will be able to visit ports within East and Central Africa and get new markets. Uganda is about to complete its jetty so oil will be going to Uganda through the lake and this will save our roads. Based on that alone, Kisumu county should be able to ask the government for some levy for using the lake to take jet fuel to Kampala.
The port will also help the people of Eastern Africa to grow their shared culture and values. Economic growth is not only financials. It also depends on the new sophistication of inter-locking of cultures that comes with intermarriages. This will create a new learning experience for Kisumu as a town. With the launch, the Kisumu Port, or Port Florence, will be on the map of Africa again.
But if the standard gauge railway does not reach Kisumu, there definitely will be an impact. We are hopeful because there now is approval from the Chinese government of connecting the line to Kisumu. And also because of the Industrial Park in Muhoroni, it will be prudent for the SGR to reach Kisumu so we can have a place to store our goods before they are transported through the lake to Kampala from Mombasa.
Finally, commissioning this port is a vote of confidence in Raila Odinga. It means the President has built trust in him and his advice. I believe that going forward, there will be more things happening in the lake. The government has committed to revive the old ferries that went to Kendu Bay and now they will reach Mbita. These ferries will be like the ones in Mombasa. There is a ring road on Lake Victoria the government has also committed to complete.
The Gem MP spoke to the Star
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