At least 1,200 employees working on the wider Lapsset project have been sent home.Jan 7th · 1 min read
Construction work at the Lamu Port has been suspended over security concerns.
China Communication Construction Company(CCCC) on Tuesday said it has suspended all work until next week.
This comes after the Sunday attack on a military instalment at Manda, Lamu County, by Somalia's Islamist group al Shabaab.
The Sunday attack at Camp Simba, used by both U.S and Kenyan forces, left three Americans (one military personnel and two contractors ) dead.
“At present, the situation in Lamu County is still very serious. To ensure the personal safety of all employees, we have to suspend all the works and close the site until next Monday (January 13),” CCCC said in a staff memo.
“Please all employees leave the site and go home immediately and wait for the notice to open the site,” the company's management said.
The Chinese firm is constructing the first three berths of the planned 32-berth port at a cost of Sh71.2 billion, in a tender awarded in May 2015. The first berth was completed on August 6 last year.
The first phase of the project which incorporates berths one to three is above 75 per cent complete, according to the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Development Authority.
“The second and third berths are 57 per cent complete,” Lapsset director general and CEO Silvester Kasuku had told the Star late last year.
The government expects the first three berths to be ready by end of this year.
“The government is on schedule for the delivery of the remaining two berths by December 2020,” Kasuku said.
The suspecnsion of activities at the port was also confirmed by the Kenya Ports Authority Senior Superintendent in charge of Lamu jetty Abdishukri Osman and Lamu Port-LAPSSET Regional Manager Salim Bunu.
“It’s true. The contractor has suspended construction works at the Lamu Port site and as we speak and all employees have been sent home,"said Bunu.