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The Kenya-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor   Leave a comment

The Lamu Port and Lamu Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor

{From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia}

(LAPSSET) aka The Lamu corridor is a transport and infrastructure project in Kenya that when completed will be the country’s second transport corridor. Kenya’s other transport corridor is the Mombasa port and Mombasa – Uganda transport corridor that passes through Nairobi and much of the Northern Rift.

The project will involve the following components:[1]

The project was initially conceived in 1975 but never took off due to various reasons. The project was later revived and included in Kenya’s Vision 2030. LAPSSET cost was estimated to cost $ 16 Billion in 2009.[2] Recent estimates arrived after studies now put the cost of the project at between US $ 22 Billion [3] and US $ 23 Billion.[4]

The timeline of the project is not clear including when it started and when it should be finished. Some projects like the Isiolo-Merille projects began in 2007. At the peak of the project, between 2013 and 2018, it is expected that the Kenyan government will be spending about 6% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product or 16% of its annual budget on the project.[5] The project is in turn expected to contribute an additional 3% increase in Kenya’s GDP by 2020.[6]

Key towns in the project are Lamu & Isiolo in Kenya, Juba in Southern Sudan and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

Lamu Port and Manda Bay

Lamu Port is expected to consist of 30 berths when complete, will cost US $ 3.5 billion and be 1,000 acres in size.[4] The port will be a deep water port at 18 metres depth.

From bids requested by the Kenyan Government, the first phase of the port will include 3 deep water berths with a capability of handling ships with a dead-weight capacity of up to 100,000 tonnes.[7] The port will be built at Manda Bay and is expected to be operational starting December 2012.[5]

Although the planned infrastructure will have irreversible environmental, social, and demographic impacts on what is a unique area and politically sensitive area, up to this point in time, state-decision makers have proceeded without consultation with the Lamu community as the key stakeholders or an environmental impact assessment.

In 2009, Lamu Environmental Protection and Conservation (LEPAC) spearheaded an initiative to unite groups and individuals in a campaign to save the Lamu Archipelago against the proposed Lamu Port. Out of this initiative, a coalition of groups came together under the banner Save Lamu, a registered community-based organization (CBO).[8] The coalition includes community members from over 15 local and national organizations. As a result of its successful work in such a short period of time, Save Lamu was recently nominated as Civil Society of the year 2011 by Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) to recognize its contributions to human rights on the Coast Province. The demands of the community groups as per their petition are[9]: 1) The Government of Kenya (GOK) publicly shares all information on the proposed project to the local communities; 2) The GOK publicly facilitates for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment to be carried out by independent experts; 3) A participatory process is undertaken with the local communities involved in the assessment of the impacts and planning of the proposed project; 4) The land rights violations against the indigenous Lamu communities are adequately investigated and addressed before any further development plans are inaugurated.

Standard gauge railway line to Juba

A railway line will run from Lamu to Juba, a distance of 1720 km and will be capable of handling trains with speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour. This will be at an estimated cost of $ 7.1 billion and is to be completed by 2015.

The railway line will be lined to the existing railway network and to Mombasa port by a line running from Lamu port to Mombasa port.

By 2030, the railway line is expected to handle 30 daily trains to Juba and 52 to Addis Ababa.[4]

Road Network

LAPSSET road projects will run from Lamu to Isiolo and onwards to Juba and Addis Ababa through Moyale. This will be a 2 lane highway and will be at a cost of $ 1.4 billion.

The road from Lamu will pass through Hola and Bura to Garissa.From Garissa, the main branch will run to Isiolo while a second branch will run off to Mwingi and Matuu for exploitation of coal in the Kitui Basin. Isiolo will be linked to Nairobi through one route, to Nakodok, near Lokichoggio via another and to Moyale via the third route. Southern Sudan will be in charge of constructing a route from Nakodok to Juba while Ethiopia will construct a road from Moyale to Addis Abbaba

 Isiolo – Moyale Road

Construction and upgrading of the 136 kilometre[10] Isiolo – Merille road which is part of LAPSSET commenced in 2007 and the road was finished in 2011. The road was upgraded into a 2 lane tarmac road. Construction of the Marsabit – Turbi road, also part of LAPSSET, commenced August 29 20l1 with an expected delivery date of April 4, 2014.[11]

Moyale – Addis Ababa road

Contsruction of the 193 km Ageremariam-Yabelo-Mega already began.[citation needed]

Oil Pipeline

The Oil Pipeline is expected to cost $ 4 billion.

Oil Refinery

A proposed oil refinery in Lamu will cost $ 2.5 billion and is expected to refine 120,000 barrels of oil a day.

Three Resort Cities

Proposed resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichoggio on the shores of Lake Turkana will cost $ 1.2 billion.

Isiolo Resort City

The Isiolo resort city is to be established under a public private partnership at a cost of Ksh. 18.9 billion. In 2012, the Isiolo County Council was asked to set 6,500 acres of land aside for establishment of the resort city. The site is located at Kipsing Gap, 20 kilometres west of Isiolo town.[12]

The site was identified by Japanese Port Consultants after a nine month feasibility study. The consultants also developed a conceptual design for the resort city with more than 10 preliminary models of the city. The plans include rules on land usage and guidance on private sector and local community involvement. The plans also cater for growth and development of the city for the next 20 to 30 years.[12]

Under Kenya’s new constitution, it will be mandatory for the government to get consent from the locals before commencing with the project. Residents will be compensated for the acquisition. The local council will then acquire the land title and make money from leasing out the land and charging rates.[12]

The city will be situated between Katim hill and Oldonyo Degishu hill. Neighbouring game parks and national reserves include Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in the south, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserve to the North, Samburu Game Reserve and Ewaso Ng’iro River to the West. The area also boats a wide variety of plants and animals, including the big five, leading to it also being known as the Jewel in the crown.[12]

Kipsing Gap was picked in preference of Kulamawe and Archers Post due to security, accessibility, cultural diversity, natural diversity, wildlife, water availability, electricity, sewer system among other factors.[12]

In January 2012, 32 councillors led by chairman Adan Ali and Town Clerk Morris Ogolla and legislators, professionals, women group leaders were briefed by government officials on the importance of the resort city.[12]

Attractions will include three star to six star hotels, a local art and craft museum, theatres, conference centres and cultural events.[12]

Additional Infrastructure

This includes proposed power generation facilities, water systems and communication facilities. This component of LAPSSET is expected to cost $ 2.5 billion.

Conflict related to LAPSSET

Kiss TV[13] reported in January 2012 that a series of armed attacks in Isiolo in 2011 and 2012 was related to the proposed resort city. Contrary to opinion that the attacks were related to livestock banditry which is common in Eastern Kenya, it was found that recent attacks occurred in households where there was no livestock. The violence was instead linked to individuals who are said to have grabbed land for speculative purposes. “It is highly likely that politicians and private business interests on the Borana, Somali and Turkana sides are behind an organised attempt at provoking an all out war between the communities.” The communities are also said to have each grabbed and enclosed large piecese of land thus encroaching on community grazing lands.

Areas involved include Wamba, Merti, Laiasmais, Isiolo Garbatula and Tigania East. Communities involved include Borana, Turkana, Somali, Meru and Samburu.

Other factors in the violence include Kenya’s 2012 General Elections.

Additionally, the Lamu Port has been a source of contentious issues following numerous fraudulent land transactions in the region. The local communities of Lamu have so far threatened legal action against the project as a result of the failure of the government to address historical land injustices prior to its implementation.[14]


Posted August 17, 2012 by edari1 in Economic Issues