REMARKS BY THE CABINET SECRETARY FOR TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, MR. JAMES MACHARIA EGH, DURING THE KPA STAKEHOLDERS LUNCHEON HELD AT THE RADISSON BLU HOTEL, NAIROBI ON 13TH SEPTEMBER 2017
The Principal Secretary State Department of Transport, Prof. Paul Maringa Mwangi (PHD), CBS
KPA Board Chairman, Major (RTD) Marsden Madoka, EGH
KPA Managing Director, Ms. Catherine Mturi-Wairi
KPA Board of Directors present
All invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you at this special stakeholders luncheon. Allow me to commend KPA for consistently organizing this annual forum which has been a constructive platform for sharing pertinent Port and transport matters.
In last year's function, we outlined some key accomplished, ongoing and planned projects. In addition, we promised to fast-track those which were in progress and ensure their completion in good time. Today, I am glad to inform you that we have realized substantive success in our promise.
Accordingly, ladies and gentlemen, we:
Commissioned Phase I of the Second Container Terminal in September last year and I am pleased to note that it is up and running. This development has increased the Container handling capacity by 550,000 TEUs. Plans are underway to commence construction of Phase 2 early next year.
- Completed construction of phase one of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) between Mombasa and Nairobi and as you all know the passenger services have been in operation since June. The total number of passengers ferried by SGR since the inauguration of Madaraka Express stands at 281,725 passengers up to 11th September 2017. We are currently running one SGR passenger train with a capacity of 1488 persons. The running of two SGR passenger trains per day will commence on 1st October, 2017. Once we also commission the freight service towards the end of the year, we anticipate a significant improvement in cargo offtake from the Port to the Nairobi Inland Container Depot. Equally, transfer of most bulk cargo to the SGR will markedly decongest the roads. We have already realized benefits of the SGR freight through SGR Relief Food Trains. To date the total number of such trains stands at 79; 76 conveyed maize, 2 conveyed rice and 1 conveyed milk with a total tonnage of 816,560 tonnes equivalent to 3,164 TEUs. Trial Runs for the SGR Freight Train will commence on October 30th, 2017 while full commercial SGR Freight Train operations will start in January 2018. On commencement of full freight train, we will have four trains per day with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes per train. The SGR Freight Train –single stack has the capacity of 216 TEUs full load while the double stack SGR Freight Train has capacity for 432 TEUs full load.
- Have modernized the Inland Container Depot (ICD) and expanded its capacity from 180,000 TEUs to 450,000 TEUs. This Development will ultimately position ICD Nairobi as a preferred point of shipment.
- Witnessed significant performance improvement since the implementation of the Mombasa Port Community Charter in 2014. As a Ministry, we shall continue to monitor its performance closely to ensure that all of us play our respective roles effectively.
- Made significant input to reduce non-tariff barriers along the Northern Transport Corridor by allowing loaded trucks to weigh only two times between the Port and the border points without further inspection at police mobile road blocks unless for exceptional security reasons. The upshot of such initiatives has translated into reduction in container dwell time and transit times.
- Made commendable efforts in automation of services under the Kenya National Single Window System. Cargo interveners can now avoid logging on multiple systems hence ease documentation process, quicken cargo clearance and lower the cost of doing business.
- At regional level, improved documentation through the implementation of the Single Customs Territory to ensure that clearance and revenue collection by transit importers and governments is done at the Port of Mombasa which is the first point of entry. This is one among many infrastructure projects set up by the EAC governments under the wider Community framework.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to share that we have made a lot of progress in the ongoing:
- Construction of an alternative route from Mombasa Port to Burundi through Holili, Singida-Kobero border and finally to Bujumbura. This project is on its last stretch to reach the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The route will cover about 1545 Kms, which reduces the distance from Mombasa to Bujumbura through the Northern Corridor by 358 Kms.
- Construction of Mariakani-Mombasa dual carriage way to ease traffic flow between the Port and the hinterland. The contractor has been on the ground since July 2017.
- Implementation of the LAPSSET project to open an alternative corridor originating from Lamu Port. Construction of the first three berths and the causeway started in October 2016. Currently, the process of dredging and reclamation is ongoing with the overall project completion estimated at 30 per cent. The first Berth shall be ready by July 2018 while the the remaining two will be completed in December 2020.
- Construction of the Dongo Kundu by-pass to be linked with the Second Container Terminal for effective cargo delivery. The road shall also play a critical role in serving the planned Special Economic Zone in the area in addition to opening up the South Coast region and easing traffic congestion on the Island.
Much as we are happy with the progress we have made, we take cognizance that these achievements would not have been realized without your support, and for that reason we say thank you.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Knowing that you are expected back in your offices after this engagement, I don't intend to keep my remarks long. As business people, I must commend you for the immense support you have given us this year and especially during and after the election period.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Government, through this Ministry, is determined to continue developing a supportive and sustainable Transport and Infrastructure network conducive to business investment. We have received a lot of support from all of you in different forms and ways. I may not mention all of you now but allow me to recognize a few of our partners who have supported us financially to progress some of our developments. They include the Governments of Japan and China, World Bank, Trademark East Africa, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and the USA government.
Going forward, we continue to assure you of our responsiveness to your constructive views as we grow trade and development.
Enjoy the lunch and seize the opportunity to widen your networks.