Kisumu port receives boost with launch of new bulk cargo vessel

Written by on 14 September 2022

After decades of inaction, maritime transport on Lake Victoria is now attracting several investors who are eager to navigate the newly refurbished and dredged Kisumu Port.

Investors are eyeing the lake as the convenient means for bulk cargo shipping with a promise to make daily trips to the various East African ports.

This comes after the government of Kenya finished the first phase of the dredging of Lake Victoria to revive maritime trade and open up the lake for other economic activities. So far the dredging contractor, Mango Tree Marine Ltd has dredged a stretch of 61.3 kilometres starting from the pier in Kisumu and going all the way to Mbita in Homa Bay County.

The contractor was tasked with expansion of the Kisumu Port by 400 metres to create more room for large vessels to dock, which Mango disclosed was already done.

This has now paved the way for large moving vessels to dock easily at the port, a task which was previously impossible for such big vessels, thus making bulk cargo transport now easy.

Mariner Ted Odero explained that the expansion of port facilities will also promote the development of Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ). On Monday, Kisumu Port witnessed the launch of a 2,000 tonnes capacity marine Vessel by MV Pamba Wagon Ferry  owned by Mango Tree Ltd, that began bulk cargo services. The Group General Manager Franck Menard said they will be transporting goods from Kisumu Port weekly to Uganda and Tanzania and other East African ports.

“Today, we are incredibly proud of and pleased with this demonstration of a successful docking of the MV Pamba from Uganda to Kisumu Port,’’ he said. Menard also disclosed they have leased MV Pamba for a period of 15 years from the Government of Uganda after they were tasked to repair it and bring it back on motion.

Range of products

The vessel, which was grounded for over 20 years was being run by the Ugandan Railways Corporation (URC) and new repairs has seen it now propelled by two main engines that run concurrently.

Menard said they are transporting all ranges of products  from cement, tiles, maize, steel, sugar and other perishable goods stored in their expensive coolers in the 91 feet wagon.

Menard was also happy that upon arrival to Kenya, they got bulk cargo orders from Keda International Ceramics to ship the first bulk consignments of tile to Mwanza Port, Tanzania.

Keda is domiciled in Miwani, Kisumu County, and run by a Chinese firm, specialised in ceramic products  for import and export.

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