, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 24 – The Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda governments will invest Sh1.2 trillion in a joint cash mobilization venture to finance a dual truck, 2,937 kilometres (KM) Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Speaking after a consultative forum with the respective ministers responsible for transport from the three states in Nairobi on Wednesday, Roads and Infrastructure Cabinet secretary Michael Kamau said that the expected cost is split into infrastructure at Sh1.004 trillion and Sh174 billion for rolling stock.
Kamau said that each member state will commit the undertaking of SGR developments in their country within their stipulated timeline.
“All countries will commit to establish a Railway Development Fund and earmark sufficient budgetary allocation to the development of the SGR that is scheduled to be completed by January 2018,” he said.
The Kenyan Government established a Railway Development Fund which is a levy of 1.5 percent of the cost of import freights in the current financial year.
Kamau said that ground breaking for the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is expected in November 2013.
The development of the SGR (Mombasa – Kampala- Kigali and other spur lines) will be developed by the three countries after a bilateral agreement signed by the three heads of state last month.
Presidents of the three nations directed the respective ministers responsible for transport to provide them with a report within 30 days indicating the proposal on the development of the SGR network.
The Kenyan portion for the Mombasa-Malaba/Kisumu is 1,300km and likely to cost close to Sh445 billion, by estimates.
The SGR will allow freight trains to go up to speeds of 120kph while passenger trains will attain 180kph.
Kenya is also planning to construct a 1,400km Lamu-Lokichoggio railway and the Nairobi-Moyale 700km rail which will connect Kenya to Juba in South Sudan as part of the Lamu Port- South Sudan- Ethiopia transport corridor.
The member states also expressed their dissatisfaction with the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) in the Kenya-Uganda railway concession over the poor performance of the railway business.
Kamau said that RVR has underperformed and the governments are now very concerned.
“We have noted with great concern the cargo handled by the Rift Valley Railway has been declining and the investment in infrastructure has been slow in coming,” he stated.