MOMBASA, August 20 – The Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has pledged to double its cargo carriage from the port of Mombasa within one year in spite of the prevailing operational and financial challenges.
Newly appointed Executive Chairman Brown Ondego said Wednesday that although RVR was seriously under capitalised, they would strive to improve their business, because the railway was the most reliable and safe cargo movement to and from the port.
Speaking in Mombasa when he introduced his new Managing Director, Kevin Whiteway, to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) management team, Ondego said their investors were enthusiastic about resuscitating the network due to its viability and urged both KPA and RVR to strive in improving their business relationship.
On his part, Whiteway said RVR had taken stock of its dilapidated equipment and was putting in place a 12-month strategic plan to make a radical but positive change.
He said he has a team of dedicated and experienced officers to make the change in the rail service that would double the current volume of cargo to and from Mombasa.
KPA Acting MD James Mulewa encouraged RVR to increase the frequency of the long train service, which was introduced last week between Mombasa and Nairobi.
He said the train moved twice the amount of containers than the ordinary service.
Currently, there is a backlog of 900 containers due for transportation since May 2008.
Mulewa said that KPA also wished to transport containers to the inland container depot in Nairobi to ease congestion in Mombasa, but this has been constrained by rail incapacity.
He hailed the new spirit and commitment from RVR to work closely with KPA in removing cargo from the port.
Mulewa also requested that empty containers brought by rail be left outside the port to reduce congestion.