Kenya's First Total Lockdown Declared

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta touring the Lamu Port on September 8, 2019.
    File
  • Operations at the Lamu Lappset project site have been drastically changed after the county government declared a total lockdown of the site.

    Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia issued the directive on Tuesday, March 24.

    Macharia notified the workers that the directive would come into force by 5.00 p.m on Tuesday, March 24. 

    Ongoing construction of the second berth of Lamu port on August 27, 2019.
    Daily Nation

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, he clarified that the lockdown would limit movement into the project area.

    "There's a project and people have been coming from outside the project area to work," Irungu explained, adding, "So we said everybody must remain within the camp, not going out and then coming back in."

    The Lamu Commissioner clarified that the order would affect all the people who were currently engaged in work at the Lamu project site. 

    "Everyone including the workers and the Chinese as well, will remain within the camp, and work from there without interacting with people outside the site," explained Irungu.

    The Lamu Commissioner reiterated that the lockdown would be in effect for thirty days.

    "The workers will remain within their project areas for the next thirty days and then we will review after the period is over," he stated, adding, "They will be in for the next thirty days and work from within."

    According to Irungu, the workers had the choice to leave the site but they had to do it before the close of the 5.00 p.m window. 

    "They have an option today: they either move in today, live in and work or go out and live with their families but they will not be allowed to come back to the site," Irungu asserted.

    The completion date of the second and third berths at the Lamu Port has been set at July 2020.

    Phase one of the project involves the construction of three berths to handle container, convectional and bulk cargo vessels.

    Lamu County Commissioner Macharia Irungu (left) with the former Managing Director of Vivo Energy Joe Muganda on Dec 4, 2018
    Daily Nation

    When completed the Lamu port will be the largest deep seaport, with the highest trans-shipment capability in the East Coast of Africa.