Four presidents from East Africa are set to launch the Sh3 billion Kisumu port project in Kenya. The project which is a facelift of the port is one of the biggest initiated in Western Kenya. It will be launched on Thursday the 15th of August 2019. Prime Minister Raila Odinga will host the four heads of state, President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Felix Tshisekedi (Congo) and John Magufuli (Tanzania).

Kisumu port, a once vibrant hub lost it glory 13 years ago due to its desolation. Now, it has been renovated, with forklift trucks, mobile cranes and tractor-trailers already installed. The President also ordered the repair of the 1,000-tonne and 91-meter-long cargo ship which broke down 13 years ago.  After its completion, the MV Uhuru engine was switched on and allowed to roared for hours.

Kisumu port is estimated to bring about 100 and 200 direct jobs when activities commence. Raila has been said to keenly followed every step of the rehabilitation of the port and visited almost five times since the beginning of this year. This signifies how important the project is to him.

The repair of MV Uhuru and the facelift work done at the Kisumu Port is a pointer to the national government renewed commitment and interest in reviving Kisumu which suffered a setback after the discontinuation of the Kisumu-Nakuru railway line, more than ten years ago.

The region has also received other project since the handshake in March 2018 include the construction of the Koru-Mamboleo road, Kabunde airstrip where Sh128 million has been allocated to pay off the landowner and Sh4 billion allocated to the blue economy.

 On the flip side, the report that Raila Odinga (former prime minister) is set to host President Uhuru Kenyatta together with other three Presidents from East Africa in Kisumu during the opening ceremony of Kisumu Port has generated mixed reaction among Kenyans. While many Kenyans have thanked the two leaders and expressed their joy for the re-opening of the project, others believe Raila has taken credit for a project which was renovated using Kenya’s taxpayer money.