“Gentility of speech is at an end - it stinks, and whoso once inhales the stink can never forget it and can count himself lucky if he lives to remember it.” These were the words used by the City Press newspaper to describe the stench emanating from the River Thames at the peak of the summer of 1858. River Thames had been contaminated by industrial effluent and human waste and the smell emanating from it was so awful, that it was nicknamed the “Great Stink”. The river was declared biologically dead as no living creature could survive in it and it became the epicentre of deadly disease outbreaks such as cholera. The catastrophic situation prompted an immediate overhaul of London’s sewer system and happily, today, river Thames is considered one of the cleanest city rivers in the world, serving as home to many species of fish.
From the roads which transport our goods to the telecommunications which keep us connected, world-class infrastructure provides the foundations to create jobs, grow business and connect people with essential services.
Our experience spans public transport, renewable energy, waste, education, healthcare as well as social infrastructure, rail, roads, bridges, aviation, shipping and ports, among others.
Our lawyers are at the forefront of advising the infrastructure sector, working with clients who invest in, own, operate, manage or provide services to infrastructure assets.
Our knowledge base from working with clients across the public and private sectors means that we have a comprehensive understanding of each of the stakeholder’s concerns and are able to structure transactions in a manner that specifically addresses them. Our strong market knowledge coupled with an extensive regional and international reach enables us to deliver world-class legal services to our clients. We have successfully used this model on numerous infrastructure deals.
Experience has included advising:
- A client in connection with its proposed investments in the port of Mombasa, Lamu and the new Lamu industrial city
- A client in connection with a proposed joint venture to undertake the operation of the second container terminal at the port of Mombasa
- On a PPP options study for accelerated and sustainable non-revenue water reduction for Nairobi and Mombasa Counties
- Different parties to PPP road projects under the road annuity program
- For a consortium of investors in connection with a proposed primary healthcare project, which shall be piloted in Makueni County before being scaled up to all 47 counties in the country
- The Kenyan government on the procurement of medical equipment for 94 hospitals in all the 47 counties in Kenya, through a managed equipment services arrangement
- The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) on proposed strategic interventions to enhance the investment environment and increase domestic and foreign investments in Kenya’s textile and apparel manufacturing sectors
- A potential developer on the Lamu Port and Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) project
- Transportation and Infrastructure Team of the Year (African Legal Awards 2016)
Players in the extractives, energy and infrastructure sectors around the world have for a long time been required to ensure that they run sustainable businesses in order to attract funding from prospective investors. ESG assessments have been a prominent tool for investors and financiers in these sectors, with project companies and their sponsors being required to be good stewards of the environment and to have the social buy in of the project affected communities. This focus on ESG is not surprising, given the long-term and capital-intensive nature of infrastructure projects. More importantly, these projects heavily affect natural resources and surrounding communities and therefore the standard of caution by investors has to be many notches higher. As the adage goes, with great power comes great responsibility.
The private sector undeniably plays a key role in contributing towards the attainment of Kenya’s developmental objectives. In fact, Vision 2030 pays particular cognisance to the need for strong partnerships between the Government and private sector, if the country is to achieve its developmental goals. The Big Four Agenda which is made up of the resource thirsty priority areas of manufacturing, affordable housing, food security and universal healthcare, will also rely heavily on private sector resources for its success.
Globally, analysts agree that investments in the infrastructure sector will play a big role in the post pandemic recovery efforts due to their multiplier effect.
With the excitement surrounding the new JKIA – Westlands Expressway project and the prospect of other mass transport projects being developed, this is an opportune time for reflect on how land is compulsorily acquired for infrastructure projects in Kenya.