The Government of Kenya (GOK) through the Ministry of Transport plans to build a port at Manda Bay in Lamu. The port development is considered a flagship project in the country’s Vision 2030 Strategy of Growth and Development which is expected to accelerate development of trade routes in the regions traversed by the new transport corridor, in particular the Northern part of Kenya which is still under-developed. The current project aims to undertake the construction of the first three (3) berths out of 32 berths and associated infrastructure of the proposed Lamu Port. Project activities would include dredging, reclamation and construction of an access road within the larger LAPSSET corridor plan. Implementation of the port development project is expected to raise a number of environmental and social concerns that are both negative and positive to the surrounding environment and local communities.
This project is implemented by HBS in partnership with Save Lamu, a community-based organization advocating for cultural preservation and participatory management of natural resources among local communities in Lamu County.
The project uses the Annual Lamu cultural festival set-up to undertake theatre workshop and performances, poetry competition and setting up of an information booth, bringing out the links between culture, environment and development (LAPSSET). The project will stimulate debate among communities and empower them to lobby for their natural resource and cultural rights to ensure their survival, particularly indigenous population who have been marginalized by central government and local elites.