Full plate for Uhuru in low-key tour of Coast

Uhuru inspects ongoing construction of Sh1.9bn floating bridge in Likoni

What you need to know:

  • Accompanied by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, President Kenyatta toured the Likoni floating bridge currently under construction to assess its progress.
  • The President crossed over to the Liwatoni fishing complex, a facility that the government is upgrading into a full fishing port.

President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday made a low-key tour of Mombasa County, where he visited several projects. Accompanied by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, President Kenyatta toured the Likoni floating bridge currently under construction to assess its progress.

The President has been keen on giving the country’s top tourism hub  a facelift through infrastructure projects, key among them being major roads connecting to Likoni.

Three different sets of bridges are on the cards and an ambitious port development modernisation plan is ongoing.

The Head of State started his daylong inspection tour at Liwatoni on the island, where the government is constructing the Sh1.9 billion Likoni pedestrian floating bridge. The 1.2km bridge, the first of its kind in the region, is halfway done.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) project chief engineer Roanal Liao said filling of the first embankment at Liwatoni is complete and they will be moving to the Peleleza side on the mainland.

Ease human traffic

“Parts of the structure are in Mombasa and pile testing has started, which will be followed by pile driving into the ocean, which will take a minimum of 25 days. Already, the barge is at the site. We are within schedule and we hope to complete it this year as planned,” said Mr Roanal.

The Likoni floating bridge is part of the Kenyatta administration’s initiative to ease human traffic at the Likoni Channel. 

The President crossed over to the Liwatoni fishing complex, a facility that the government is upgrading into a full fishing port.

“I am satisfied with the ongoing rehabilitation of the fish landing site, which will help create jobs for the youth and boost the coastal economy. Take advantage of the bridge and fishing port to grow your businesses,” the President told traders.

He tasked Governor Joho to work with national government agencies to build modern business stalls for traders to benefit from the human traffic expected when the bridge comes into use.

From Liwatoni, President Kenyatta, accompanied by Kenya Navy Commander Maj-Gen Jimson Mutai, took a boatride to the new Kipevu Oil Terminal, where he was received by Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Kenya Ports Authority bosses, led by acting managing director Rashid Salim.

Sources told the Sunday Nation that he was briefed on its progress, which currently stands at 62 per cent, having been slowed down by the Covid-19 crisis.

It is understood that the KPA was asked to ensure the Sh40 billion project, whose construction began in February last year, is ready by end of July next year.

 From the port, the President crossed the Kilindini channel to the Kenya Navy Base in Mtongwe, where the military is developing a slipway and shipyard.

The President is expected in Kwale today to inspect the Mwache Bridge, which is part of the Dongo Kundu bypass, meant to offer an alternative connection between Mombasa Island and Kwale County.

aolingo@ke.nationmedia.com