Work is to start on the construction of the Shimoni Fishing Port in Kenya.. The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) announced this recently and said phase one works are scheduled to begin this month.
KPA General Manager for Infrastructure Development, Eng. Vincent Sidai said that all mandatory requirements have been met. These are but not limited to feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments in readiness for the project.
Shimoni port project situated in Kwale County is one of the key development projects in the authority’s 30-year master plan and it is aimed at improving Kenya’s marine competitiveness as an investment hub.
The industrial fishing port infrastructure will include a multipurpose berth that will incorporate fish and conventional cargo handling and cold storage facilities besides a fish processing plant.
Pioneer fishing harbour
Interest in the project had been shown by 16 firms at the tendering stage. Upon completion the port it is envisaged that it will be a pioneer fishing harbour in the country and is expected to have a positive impact on trade and economic growth in the coastal region. Eng. Sidai said KPA will ensure that the new port will provide a comfortable, convenient and clean environment for the fishing communities.
“The works are expected to start any time this month and will be ready for commercial operations in 24 months’ time,” Eng Sidai said.
In addition the Authority plans to construct a modern fish market to serve the needs of local fisher folks. Eng. Sidai said the existing Shimoni jetty will be rehabilitated by the Authority so as to continue serving the local folks and support tourism activities.
The KPA official said the new facility would enable large-scale exploitation of the fishing industry, bolstered by a ready market and value addition, which will spur the creation of a special economic zone.
“The fishing sector can play a significant role in the development of ocean frontier counties such as Kwale but due to underdevelopment of fisheries infrastructure, utilization of marine resources has not been optimal” said Eng. Sidai.