he Sh3 billion rehabilitated Kisumu Port is expected to restore the once vibrant East Africa transport hub. This will allow docking of the big vessels to transport goods with its neighbouring countries.
A new ship will be acquired to transport goods to Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has completed rehabilitation of the old railways from Nakuru to Kisumu and refurbished the old Port.
“As you are aware, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has now reached Naivasha. The railway will bring cargo up to the Port of Kisumu and from there it will be loaded on the ship and transported to Uganda,” former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said in an earlier interview.
Mr. Odinga recalled how the Port of Kisumu used to be vibrant in the previous years with ships docking hourly on a daily basis bringing goods from Mwanza, Bukoba, Port Bell and Jinja.
He regretted that thousands of jobs had been lost following the lull of the Kisumu Port and that for lack of activities the water hyacinth found its way in Lake Victoria.
“There’s a lot of dumping in the lake polluting the environment which attracts hyacinth hence the gulf here has become very shallow, it is confounded by the Mbita causeway which was constructed and blocked the flow of water,” he said.
He explained to the public that since the Kenya Pipeline had already constructed a jetty on the other side of the Kisumu Pier, it meant that oil could be collected from Kisumu to Uganda by ship which was a cheaper and more cost-effective mode of transport compared to the road.
Port of Kisumu remains one of the key priority projects that would make the Trans-African Highway a practical route from Lagos to Mombasa, Mombasa to Kisumu, Kisumu to Port Bell, Port Bell to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), DRC to the Central African Republic, and then to Cameroon and back to Lagos.
Kisumu has the biggest dry dock inland on the entire African continent. All the ships that used to ply here, including SS Usoga, SS Nyanza, MV Victoria and MV Uhuru among others, were all manufactured in Kisumu in one of the biggest workshops.
The dredging and the removal of the water hyacinth are part of the great transformation of the lake-related activities which include the construction of the new Port and the rehabilitation of the related infrastructure.