Kenya’s high court on Friday ordered a halt to the long-delayed development of a mega-port on the country’s northern coast for at least two weeks to allow a lawsuit lodged by local landowners over compensation to move forward.
The $25.5 billion project, known as the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project, would eventually link landlocked countries South Sudan and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean via Kenya and include a port, new roads, a railway and a pipeline.
The LAPSSET project involves the development of a new transport corridor from the new port of Lamu through Garissa, Isiolo, Mararal, Lodwar and Lokichoggio to branch at Isiolo to Ethiopia and Southern Sudan. It will comprise of a new road network, a railway line, oil refinery at Lamu, oil pipeline, Isiolo and Lamu Airports and a free port at Lamu (Manda Bay) in addition to resort cities at the coast and in Isiolo. It will be the backbone for opening up Northern Kenya and integrating it into the national economy.
It was first conceived in the 1970s but has been gaining traction after commercial oil finds in Uganda and Kenya.
Judge Oscar Angote suspended the project and said the land compensation case would be heard on 8 December 2014. Source: Maritime Executive