Kisumu bets on port revival to spur East Africa business

The ministry intends to engage the counties through which the railway line will pass on matters of land required for construction of substations.

Already, there are a lot of activities going on at the Kisumu port which are pointing to the bid to revive the facility which has been idle since 2011.

To start with, a team of technicians is already conducting feasibility studies to ascertain the proper location of a lake port that will work seamlessly with the railway terminal.

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The Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Railways and the county government are also consulting on viability of putting up a new port or improving the existing one.

Kisumu port is a conduit for edible oils, confectionaries, bar soaps, mining equipment and fertiliser, among other goods.

It is estimated that the new rail would cut short time spent on the route between Mombasa and Kisumu by at least 18 hours from the current 36 hours that is as a result of trains breaking down enroute.

“The construction of the railway line will definitely cut costs of handling goods in situations where it has to exchange hands from one transporter to another while on transit,” said Kisumu-based Ted Maritime Company managing director Ted Odero.

The maritime expert said the move would save the government extra expenses incurred in repairing roads damaged by the heavy trucks.

“The cost will come down by at least 50 per cent which will definitely relieve consumers who have been bearing the burden of the absence of the rail and water transport infrastructure,” Mr Odero said.

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