Top Stories / National
Sunday, 12 Mar 2017 15:19 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The Jubilee government is fighting back claims that it has had done little development in the six Coast counties of Mombasa, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale and Lamu. State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu tabled a list of all the development projects Jubilee has been funding in the Coast region since the government came to power in 2013.
In a statement aimed to answer growing accusations by the opposition NASA/CORD coalition that Jubilee was not developing the Coast region, the government released a long list of projects that have been implemented in the Coast region since way back in 2011/12, some of which the Jubilee government has seen completed and others ongoing.
The following is the full statement from the State House Spokesman as issued in Mombasa early today-
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to our weekly briefing this Sunday which comes to you from State House, Mombasa. First, let’s start with the President’s diary: the President is going to attend a rally at Tononoka grounds later this afternoon. Tomorrow, he will launch the resumption of Mtongwe Ferry Services crossing, launch the Samburu – Kinango road and launch the Mariakani – Bamba road. He will also inspect progress of the construction of the Moi Airport – Changamwe Road, which is at the moment under construction.
Let me address the question of the doctors’ strike because it is one that you have asked about. The President, as you know, directed that all doctors on strike resume duty effective immediately before any further negotiations could be convened in respect of remuneration and any other welfare issues.
We thank the doctors that have so far gone back to work. We note the union’s statement on the subject, which was sent to doctors last night. But the President’s resolve and message remain the same: there will be no more chicanery on this subject.
Development Projects in the Coast Region:
Let me now turn to development projects in the Coast region. The Jubilee administration has invested billions of shillings in this region to build or improve security, infrastructure and general service delivery, with the simple goal of uplifting the lives of residents in an inclusive way.
Yesterday, as President Kenyatta was in Taita Taveta he launched the tarmacking of the 56 KM Bura – Mghange – Werugha – Mbale – Msau – Mtwamwagodi Rd. The Jubilee Administration is also set to implement the Mzima II Water project in the next financial year (2017/2018) at a cost of KSHS 35 Billion.
This project is almost underway and is funded by the Exim Bank of China. The water project will have an output of 105,000 cubic metres daily. It will address the perennial water shortage and will serve the areas of Voi, Wundanyi, Taveta and Mwatate while the excess water will serve the people of Mombasa in Kilifi Counties.
Since I have mentioned the funding via Exim Bank, let me make this point clear because it occurs to me that some leaders in this part of the world don’t actually know how loans work. If the Government borrows money from the World Bank, the African Development Bank or any other regional banks to implement development projects, it is really the projects of the National Government. It is the National Government procuring the funding for the project. It is the National Government making proposals on how this funding has to be paid back. And it is really the National Government responding to the needs of the people..
I have seen suggestions that the National Government should not praise itself for the projects funded by the banks and other donor agencies. Let me just say that is complete hogwash. It is a sign of ignorance of an order that is difficult to understand. These institutions work with the National Government. So it is the National Government procuring money directly to fund the needs of Kenyan people wherever they might be.
Expansion of Malindi Airport
As you may be aware, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has made manifest progress in the expansion of the Malindi Airport at a cost of KSHS 700 Million. Phase 1 of the project dealt with land acquisition which entailed the acquisition of 25 hectares. The transfer of funds to the National Lands Commission, who will undertake and facilitate the land compensation, has been completed. The second phase will require the purchase of additional land for extension of the main runway. This will pave way for direct flights from Europe. This is important because Malindi is a tourist town and one of the demands they have made is that: can’t they fly directly to their destination.
The ongoing works at Malindi Airport, which include the extension of the Apron, the upgrade of the security perimeter fence and the expansion of the car park to accommodate many more vehicles, is almost complete.
The airport had a throughput of 131,513 passengers and 5,784kg of cargo in 2015.
Lamu Port is the anchor for the LAPSSET Corridor Program, which contains several key project components that are geared towards opening up Northern Kenya. It is the entry and exit point of the entire transport Corridor and therefore its realization is vital to our economic strategy. The government undertook ground–breaking for the LAPSSET Corridor Program at Lamu Port and construction of various preliminary infrastructural facilities and services have also started.
Progress has been made. The Board of Kenya Ports Authority and the Board of the LAPSSET Corridor Authority toured this project to look at on-going dredging works, piling, concrete blocks, pre-casting, formation of cofferdam and land reclamation.
Additionally in terms of this project, the 485 KM Isiolo – Moyale Rd, (Ethiopia link) has been completed at a cost of KSHS 50 Billion. This road forms 27% of the whole LAPSSET Corridor road, at just over 1,800 KMS.
Currently, over 400 local youth are employed at the site, with this number expected to grow to over 1,000 in the coming months. Furthermore, local companies are increasingly providing supplies and services to the port as works intensify. The first of the three berths will be ready for use in June 2018.
It is expected that the Port will handle 23 million tones per year by 2030. Already, 15.4 Billion has been provided for this project so far.
Kenya Ferries Services:
As I have said, the President will launch the resumption of the ferry services at Mtongwe tomorrow.
People have been asking about the compensation for those who died in the Mtongwe ferry accident in 1994. Out of the 270 people who died, the families of 262 of them have already been compensated. The Kenya Ferry Services is in the process of identifying the families of the remaining eight so that they can also be compensated.
In terms of the 192 that were injured, the Board has compensated only a few of those but by the end of this month we will be publishing in the media a notice inviting the people who were affected to come forward so that they can also be attended to. The Government is keen to ensure that everyone that was affected is compensated.
In terms of improving the services of the ferry, last December the KFS launched MV Harambee after undergoing major rehabilitation at the African Marine and General Engineering Company (AMGECO). Similarly, the Kenya Ferry Services have been refurbishing the Mtongwe berth at a cost of KSHS 6 Billion, after its closure in 2012. It is expected that one of the 5 ferries at the Likoni channel will be used at the Mtongwe berth. President Kenyatta will be there tomorrow to witness the re-opening of these services.
Standard Gauge Railway:
In the past week, the Kenya Railways did a test run of a passenger train from Nairobi to Mombasa and the tests went on very well. Additionally, we will be receiving 200 freight wagons, 3 passenger Locomotives and other equipment in the coming week. In the same breath, 35 students left Kenya last Monday and have startled their 4-year Railway Degree Programme at Beijing Jiatong University in China. Commencement of works for Phase 2A is expected to begin in April this year. Finally, we are still on schedule to handover and run the first train by 1st June 2017.
Progress at Mombasa Port:
The Port of Mombasa in Kilindini has also undergone substantial transformation under this administration. For instance, there has been an increase in the number of berths, improved efficiency of management of the port that has resulted in significant increase of the container throughput, this at 1,076, 118 TEUs which is an increase of 20%, up from 894,000 TEUs in 2013. Additionally, there has been a reduction of the average ship turnaround time from 3.5 days in 2013 to 3 days currently.
This airport is currently planned for expansion as follows: the runway is being extended to 2km and widening to 30m A new terminal building will be constructed to meet demand. Additionally, the Apron will be expanded to accommodate larger aircrafts. Other initiatives include the construction of a new fire station, an access road and car park, the completion of the fence and provision of baggage trolleys.
Some of the projects completed under the Jubilee Administration include the Construction of the 1.8 KM UNSOA road at the Changamwe industrial area at a cost of Sh182 million. Additionally, the initiative by the Jubilee Administration to increase the number of Low Volume Seal Roads is currently underway in the Coastal Region.
These are the Junction B8 – Masalani Rd and the Gamba – Masalani Rd in Tana River County, the Mokowe Townships Rd in Lamu County, the Mariakani – Bamba Rd (of which 10KMS are complete), Marekebuni – Marafa Rd and the Malindi – Salagate, Sabaki – Marekebuni Rd (this was inspected by His Excellency the President a few days ago and the roadworks is going on as scheduled) in Kilifi County, the Mombasa Township Rd in Mombasa County, Kwale Mwalugaje Sanctuary Rd, Kwale Township Rds, Milalani – Mivumoni – Kilulu Rd/Ukunda Airstrip Access Rd, Shimo – Kanana – Vanga – Jabereni – Lunga Lunga Rd, the Samburu Kinango Rd and the Kwale Golini Rd in Kwale County and finally the Mruru – Mwatate, the Wundanyi Township Rds, and the Voi Townships Rds in Taita Taveta County.
All these Low Volume Seal Roads, 601 KMS in total, in the Coast region will be constructed at a cost of Sh25.7 billion. These roads will increase accessibility in these areas, which will ensure efficiency of goods and people traveling within the region as well as in and out of the Coastal Region.
The Blue Economy
The Blue Economy Committee, the State Department of Maritime and Shipping Affairs has taken several steps, with the overall objective of reviving capacity for national shipping, create jobs for the youth and wealth for the country.
Towards achieving that goal, the restructuring of the Kenya National Shipping Line’s ownership structure has been initiated with a new Strategic Plan in place. Negotiations are at an advanced stage for the exit of foreign shareholders who have expressed desire to cease working with KNSL, due to KNSL having become a Parastatal.
The State Department has initiated negotiations towards creating a new powerful partnership and shareholding. Negotiations have focused on the partner committing to create a transshipment hub at the Mombasa Port. The above will open up and create an average of 3,000 job opportunities for youth in the first year, and thereafter progressively increasing to 6,000 in five years. It will also provide sea training berths for national maritime training and capacity building.
This is one of the key areas of focus that the President is giving attention to because the wealth of the sea is important to how we transform our country in the coming months and in the coming years.
Manoah Esipisu, MBS
Secretary of Communication &
State House Spokesperson