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Transport Ministry says SGR safe despite section damage

The first phase of SGR is expected to be completed by the end of the year with the first train to use the railway on June 1, 2017.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Kenya’s Transport Ministry has attributed the damage of a section of the Standard Gauge Railway in Kambu area Makueni County to heavy rains and the temporary structures supporting the on-going works. 

Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera, says on the night of November 18, 2016, as a result of the flood flow the culverts of the service road was blocked by sand boulders and debris gathered from the channelled water along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

Nyakera says the water in the channel formed a big dam upstream washing away the service road embankment.

He says the contractor has maintained the temporary service road as works are still ongoing and assured that the structure of the underpass and the Standard Gauge railway line remains intact.

“The SGR contractor, China Roads and Bridges Corporation together with the project supervisory team have been on ground since the incident to ensure a timely restoration of the project is done,” he explained.

The principal secretary added the government is committed to ensuring a successful and seamless implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway.

“We take cognizance of the fact that the projects expectations are high and thus critical that the public be guaranteed that the project is being implemented professionally keeping to stipulated standards required,” he added.

The first phase of SGR is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 with the first train to use the line on June 1, 2017.

The Mombasa-Nairobi phase of the project is estimated to cost Sh327 billion ($3.8 billion). China Exim Bank has provided 90 percent of the financing while the remaining 10 percent is by the government.

The project is part of the promises made by the Jubilee government when they took power in 2013.

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In March 2016, Kenya and the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) signed an agreement for the construction of the Naivasha-Malaba Standard Gauge Railway line under the Kenya SGR Developments Project valued at Sh549 billion.

The move came after the Cabinet approved signing of the commercial contracts between Kenya Railways and China Communications Construction Company.

The four commercial contracts for the development of the four elements of the project include Naivasha- Kisumu, Kisumu-Malaba, Kisumu Port Development and Modernization and expansion of the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi in Nairobi.

The government has secured a loan from the Government of the Peoples Republic of China to support the development of Phase 2A, (Nairobi to Naivasha).

The total contract price for this section is US$ 1.5 billion (Sh150billion).

Kenya is constructing a Standard Gauge Railway between Mombasa and Malaba as part of the East African Community protocol for the development of an SGR connecting the port of Mombasa to Kampala, Kigali and Juba.

The entire network is supposed to be in operation by December 2018 and member states are working towards meeting the timelines of the directive.

Statistic indicates that China and Africa have signed over 243 cooperation agreement valued at $ 50.7 billion.

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