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Uhuru says State to train 150 Coast youth as coxswains

Sunday September 8 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kwale

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) during an inspection tour of Shimoni port in Kwale County on September 7, 2019. He said the fishing port and supporting infrastructure will help spur economic activities in the area. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FADHILI FREDRICK
By FADHILI FREDRICK
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has made an impromptu tour of Kwale County.

Accompanied by Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe, Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata and other top government officials, the President toured the Shimoni fish landing site which the government, through the Kenya Ports Authority, is in the process of upgrading into a modern fishing port.

The upgrading of the Sh500 million fish landing site into a fully operational port complete with cold storage facilities, new modern offices for the various State agencies and berths for light cargo vessels, will be complete within eight months.

SPUR GROWTH

"The completion of the fishing port and supporting infrastructure will help spur economic activities in the area," said the head of State.

While at the port, Mr Kenyatta interacted with locals and promised that his administration will sponsor 150 youth for training as coxswains at the newly established Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa.

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The President later toured and inspected the ongoing construction of a fish processing factory Kibuyuni.

The factory which is being built by a Chinese investor will process 200 tons of fish daily.

500 JOBS

President Kenyatta noted that once complete, the factory will directly employ 500 Kenyans from the area and provide a ready market for hundreds of fishermen from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Somalia and Madagascar.

While in Kibuyuni, the President also visited the Kibuyuni Seaweed Farmers factory, a project by a local women’s group.

The group, which is being supported by the government, is engaged in the commercial cultivation and export of seaweed as well as the processing of the crop to make soap.

The President assured residents, who largely depend on sea fishing for their livelihood, that the government is working on resolving the challenge of illegal fishing so as to enable them earn more from the trade.

Mr Kenyatta and his team later proceeded to Kinango where he inspected the 51-kilometre Samburu-Kinango road which is being built by a Chinese H-Young company.

SPEED UP WORK

The President met the officials of the company in charge of the project and urged them to speed up the work.

The road is now 78 percent complete with work on the segment expected to be complete by December.

"Once complete, the road will open up the southern region of the coastal belt to more trade investments," said the President.

While he toured the project, the Head of State made a surprise appearance at the homecoming ceremony of Principal Secretary Safina Kwekwe at the nearby Mwangoni Primary School grounds.

“As I inspected the road, I saw this crowd and decided to check. This gives me an opportunity to thank the people for giving me the PS who has made great a contribution in public service,” said Mr Kenyatta.

SH1M PLEDGE

Addressing the residents, Mr Kenyatta pledged Sh1 million personal donation for the building of the school and directed the Ministry of Education to give Sh10 million through the infrastructure fund for the project.

He challenged girls from the area to emulate PS Kwekwe and all other eminent Kenyan women leaders whom he termed as trailblazers.

"You young girls I see here, please put more effort in your education. Please see how you can go beyond being a Cabinet secretary and become the first woman president," President Kenyatta said.

Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari thanked the President for the good gesture he accorded the people of his constituency towards the implementation of various projects.

"We as people of Kinango would like to express our gratitude to the President for the ongoing road project and the extra effort the government is making in fostering development," said Mr Tayari.