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Kenya’s Lamu Port South-Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset) project that seeks to link Kenya and its landlocked neighbors has adhered to globally recognized environmental standards during its implementation, an official said on Monday

Sylvester Kasuku, the CEO of Lapsset Corridor Development Authority (LCDA), said in a commentary published by Daily Nation that solid measures have been put in place to ensure the mega infrastructure project does not compromise the ecological integrity of Lamu county which happens to be a world heritage site.

“Since its inception, Lapsset has always given requisite accent to environmental issues bearing in mind the project was bound to have an impact on the physical and social environment,” said Kasuku.

“We thus set out to define the risk and mitigation as an inalienable component of overall project design and implementation,” he added.

Lapsset is a huge regional infrastructure project that integrates road, railway, port and pipelines components linking Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

It aims to provide seamless connectivity and enhance regional trade in goods and services.

One of the key components of Lapsset project is the construction of Lamu port, part of which is being undertaken by China Communications Construction Company Ltd.

He noted that the first terminal at the Lamu port that is expected to be commissioned mid next year has incorporated ecological sensitivity at all stages of implementation.

The environmental watchdogs have given Lapsset project a clean bill of health for enacting measures to preserve biodiversity hotspots and cultural heritage sites in Lamu.

“This high level of environmental sensitivity was not just given the necessary gravitas at project inception. It has been embedded into actual project implementation,” said Kasuku.

He added that zoning of protected areas like water catchment basins, forest reserves, and animal migratory routes has been prioritized during implementation of Lapsset project.

“We have also set up “silk curtains” around the construction site to prevent massive spread of sediments during construction, which has potential to affect coral life and fishing,” Kasuku said.

He noted that compensation of land owners and promotion of sustainable fishing will help preserve the ecological integrity of regions adjacent to Lapsset project. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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