With the commissioning of the Sh30 billion first phase of the second container terminal, Mombasa Port has expanded its capacity to handle fourth generation vessels of 6,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) capacity.
When completed, the new terminal will have the capacity to berth four ships of up to 100,000 tons at once compared to the current maximum of one vessel of no more than 80,000 tons, at a time.
President Kenyatta said ports will play even greater role in trade facilitation following the discovery of oil and gases in the country and in the region.
“Kenya itself discovered oil in Turkana and intends to export its first shipment in June 2017,” President Kenyatta said, adding that his administration is in the process of improving oil-handling capacity in the port of Mombasa.
Growth and Challenges
The Port of Mombasa has over the years recorded significant growth in traffic volumes which has put a strain on existing port infrastructure, necessitating costly investments to improve operations and service delivery.
Low labour productivity, poor cargo off take by rail and road, cargo clearance delays, lack of full automation, operational wastages and poor resource utilization, are among other problems that the port is working to eradicate.
The challenges are compounded by changing ship technology, poor urban planning around the port and; a changing legal and policy environment.
Mombasa is one of the oldest cities in Kenya with history stretching far into antiquity.
Fisheries Management Law
President Uhuru Kenyatta also signed into law the Fisheries Management and Development Bill.
The Fisheries Management and Development Act 2016 provides for the conservation, management and development of fisheries and other aquatic resources to enhance the livelihood of communities that depend on fishing.
The Act gives guidance on the import and export trade of fish and fish products, fish quality and safety among other provisions.
It also establishes the Kenya Fisheries Services and the Kenya Fisheries Advisory Council.
Functions of the Kenya Fisheries Services include ensuring the appropriate conservation, development of standards on management, sustainable use and protection of the country’s fisheries resources.
The improvements are among other projects initiated by the national government in the coast region. Others include Sh750 million for specialized medical equipment for Coast General Hospital and Sh400 million for Likoni hospital.