Bigger vessels will soon be docking at Kisumu Port in Kenya once the US$3 million face lift of the port is complete.
This is expected to link the three East African countries- Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania who share the Lake Victoria.
Already, repair works are being done on the once famous 1,000-tonne and 91-meter-long MV Uhuru ship.
The ship operated in the 1960s creating a business boom across the East African Community (EAC) crossing between Kisumu-Mwanza-Port Bell route in the world’s second-largest fresh water lake.
But due to mismanagement and the collapse of the East African Community in the later sixties, the vessels were grounded after the East Africa Railways and Harbours Corporation (EARH) ceased operation.
The absence of the ship in the lake had adversely affected trade between Kisumu, Mwanza and Port Bell ports in Tanzania and Uganda respectively. The MV Uhuru, which is owned by Railways Corporation was commissioned at Kisumu on 17 October 1966.
But now there is excitement around the lake with the Kenya government pumping in money to restore the once vibrant East Africa hub to its glory days.
The renovated port is expected to be officially commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Felix Tshisekedi of DR Congo in August.
Kenya’s interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has been following up the renovation process of the port.
“The President has ordered that we pull all the stops, including different authorities like Kenya Railways, Kenya Ports Authority, National Youth Service, Kenya Navy amongst others, so that we clean up this place. It will be revamped and people will get employed,” Matiang’i said.
The oil jetty at the port is also expected to start operations in August. The facility is expected to evacuate 8.8 million litres of fuel through Lake Victoria daily to reduce the pressure on the road.
By Odindo Ayieko