Lamu Port and Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor
The Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project aka The Lamu corridor is a transport and infrastructure project in Kenya that when complete 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:
- A port at Manda Bay, Lamu
- Standard gauge railway line to Juba and Addis Ababa. The South Sudanese and Ethiopian capitals in that order.
- Road network
- Oil pipelines (Southern Sudan and Ethiopia)
- Oil refinery at Bargoni
- Three Airports
- Three resort cities (Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana shores)
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. In 2009, the cost of LAPSSET was estimated as $16 billion. Recent estimates arrived after studies now put the cost of the project at between US$22 billion  and US$23 billion. On 1 April 2013, Kenya's government announced the setting up of a government agency, the Lamu Port Southern Sudan Transport Development Authority that will manage the project on behalf of the Kenyan government. The cost of the project was also put at KSh. 2.5 trillion ($29.24 billion).
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. The project is in turn expected to contribute an additional 3% increase in Kenya's GDP by 2020.
The aim of the project is to cut over-dependence on Kenya's main port of Mombasa as well as open up Kenya's largely under-developed northern frontier, through creation of a second transport corridor.
- 1 Participating countries
- 2 Funding
- 3 Lamu Port and Manda Bay
- 4 Standard gauge railway line to Juba
- 5 Road network
- 6 Oil pipeline
- 7 Oil refinery
- 8 Three Resort Cities
- 9 LAPSSET Development Authority
- 10 Additional infrastructure
- 11 Disputes
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The Development Bank of South Africa will fund construction of LAPSSET to KSh. 126 billion ($1.5 billion).
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. 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. The port will be built at Manda Bay and is expected to be operational starting December 2012.
A consortium of companies led by China Communications Construction Company(CCCC) was reported to have won the bid for construction of the first three berths at Lamu port. The cost of the project is valued at KSh. 41 billion ($484 million). CCCC is associated with China Road and Bridge Corporation(CRBC) which has historically bagged lots of road construction and other tenders in Kenya.
Standard gauge railway line to Juba
A railway line will run from Lamu to Juba, a distance of 1,720 kilometres (1,070 mi), and will be capable of handling trains with speeds of up to 160 kilometres (99 mi) 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 linked 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.
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 kilometres (85 mi) 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 29 August 2011, with an expected delivery date of 4 April 2014.
Moyale – Addis Ababa road
Construction of the 193 km Ageremariam-Yabelo-Mega already began.
The Oil Pipeline is expected to cost $4 billion. The crude oil pipeline will run from Lamu to South Sudan and Addis Ababa.
Construction was originally expected to begin by end of 2013 once feasibility studies contracted to German company ILF were complete. South Sudan is optimistic of transporting its first oil via the pipeline in 2014 if construction begins immediately after completion of feasibility studies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Attractions will include three star to six star hotels, a local art and craft museum, theatres, conference centres and cultural events.
LAPSSET Development Authority
President Mwai Kibaki, through a special gazette notice, announced the formation of the authority on 1 April 2013 with the task of managing the project on behalf of Kenya's government. The authority shall be headquartered in Nairobi and have offices in Lamu, Isiolo, Lokichoggio, Marsabit and Moyale. A director general will head the 11 member board that will include five state officials, private sector representatives and a chairman appointed by the president.
The authority will push for public private partnerships to help in implementation of the project.
This includes proposed power generation facilities, water systems and communication facilities. This component of LAPSSET is expected to cost $2.5 billion.
South Sudan dissatisfaction with Kenya's slow pace
In February 2013, The Standard quoted Dr. Costello Garang Ring expressing the frustration of the South Sudan government with the slow process with which Kenya was approaching the LAPSSET project. South Sudan was reportedly considering alternatives through Ethiopia to Djibouti or via Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania. Costello had also unsuccessfully tried to lobby Kenya against privatising its Mombasa – Kampala railway, under instructions from John Garang.
In response, a Kenyan government official alluded the delays may be due to lack of an established civil service structure in South Sudan, that led to Kenya having to push the country into a number of required agreements. Uganda was also suspected of trying to lure South Sudan in having the railway and pipeline pass through the country by promising a faster pace of progress. Peter Oremo, a Kenya Ports Authority with LAPSSET also said that Kenya was still negotiating a fee lower than the $30 Djibouti was charging per barrel of oil that passed through the country.
Kiss TV 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 pieces 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. 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.
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.
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 organisation (CBO).
 The coalition includes community members from over 15 local and national organisations.The demands of the community groups as per their petition are: 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.
- [dead link]
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