Presenting a report on the status of the SGR to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli said another 133km of land belonging to the Kenya Wildlife Service has been handed over to the contractor while an additional 142km is under the process of acquisition by the Nation Land Commission.
Speaking at the meeting, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said the SGR project is on course and all stakeholders have been involved in the process of land acquisition for the project.
China Communications Construction Company Vice President Chen Yun – who also attended the meeting – said he had toured the SGR project site and confirmed that work is going on as planned.
Chen assured President Kenyatta that his company will fully observe the Kenyan laws in ensuring that the environment and national parks – through which the railway line traverses – are preserved as work gets underway.
President Kenyatta expressed the need to expedite construction of the Standard Gauge Railway, saying it is one of the key infrastructural projects by the Jubilee Government that will transform the country.
He said the land issue must be resolved quickly to avoid delaying implementation of the project.
“We are committed to delivering this project for the benefit of the people of Kenya and the East African region. We must hasten the pace of its implementation,” President Kenyatta said.
Stressing that the SGR is a national project, President Kenyatta said Kenyans from all parts of the country should be allowed to apply for related sub-contracts. He said the agreed 40pc minimum supplies from local industries must also strictly be adhered to so that Kenyans can benefit fully from the project.
The meeting was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa and Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (National Treasury), Joseph ole Lenku (Interior and Co-ordination of National Government), Judy Wakhungu (Environment, Water and Natural Resource), Adan Mohamed (Industrialisation and Enterprises Development), Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum) and Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs).
Earlier, President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi met Romanian Ambassador to Kenya Lulia Pataki. During the meeting, President Kenyatta emphasised the need for Kenya and Romania to scale up their cooperation in various fields for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
The President and the First Lady also met the Chinese Ambassador who assured of his commitment to scale up bilateral relations between Kenya and China.