Repair work begins on Kibera rail line

April 27, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – Rift Valley Railways announced on Monday that repair work on a section of the railway line that was destroyed in Kibera two weeks ago should be complete by Tuesday.

RVR Principal Public Relations Officer Judy Achar confirmed to Capital Newsbeat that the work on the 200 metres line linking Kenya to Uganda started on Monday morning and is progressing well.

“Completion of the repairs, which will cost the firm 100 million shillings, might be delayed if the area receives heavy rainfall tonight (Monday),” she however cautioned.

Ms Achar said that Kibera residents, who had initially blocked repair work from taking place, were cooperating with RVR engineers after a meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday.

Youth in the area destroyed the line while protesting the presence of Ugandan security personnel on the disputed Migingo Island. At the time, they chanted ‘no Migingo, no railway’ slogans and refused access to RVR engineers who had arrived in the area last week to repair the destroyed rail.

The protests were however triggered by attempts by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company to disconnect illegal power lines in the slum.

When the Premier visited the area on Sunday afternoon, he urged Kibera residents to remain calm as the government a worked out way to revert the disputed fishing port to the country.

Raila Odinga told residents not to engage in acts of lawlessness and destruction of property over the issue and promised that the matter would be resolved in two months time.

“We only have 6 percent of Lake Victoria and the country cannot go to full scale war with our neighbours over a small portion. You have made your point… do not go beyond the limits,” he cajoled.


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