Cabinet approves new phase of SGR construction
Finally the Cabinet approved construction of the Standard Gauge Railway SGR from Naivasha to Malaba through Kisumu as proposed by the National Treasury.
In a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi, the Cabinet also discussed New Kisumu Port, expansion and Modernization of Embakasi Inland Container Depot.
In a statement send to newsrooms immediately after the meeting revealed that Phase II of the SGR Project will be financed on government to government
“Cabinet approved the development of the Naivasha-Kisumu/Malaba SGR project, which is Phase II of the Mombasa-Kisumu/Malaba SGR; the Project will be financed on a Government-to-Government (G-to-G) arrangement in which Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), and China Communications Construction (CCCC) will sign the commercial contract,” read the statement.
The Cabinet also discussed separately on how existing Metre Gauge Railway line connecting Naivasha and Malaba through Nakuru, Eldoret and Webuye should be refurbished and modernized together with all branches.
Initially the Standard Gauge Railway was designed to reach Malaba through Eldoret, Webuye, Kanduyi and Bumula in Bungoma County with only a subsidiary to Kisumu.
In December 2015, the government published the new plan for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway omitting Eldoret and Bungoma County completely in a move that was not received well with a section of Bungoma residents and leaders.
Despite a section of elected leaders promising to engage the National Government on the issue, nothing has been achieved if what the Cabinet approved on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 is something to go buy.
Many residents in Uasin Gishu and Bungoma Counties where the Standard Gauge Railway was designed to pass through have expressed their bitterness terming the changes as a form of marginalization of the highest order.
So far a section of people especially along Mombasa – Nairobi line have benefited from billions of shillings in compensation to pave way for Construction of the Standard Gauge Railway with others being employed by the Companies taking part in the Construction.
Many of Bungoma and Uasin Gishu residents will be waiting for is the reaction by area elected leaders especially in the National Assembly after some of them among them Kabuchai Member of Parliament Hon James Lusweti Mukwe, his Kanduyi Counterpart Hon Wafula Wamunyinyi, Bumula Member of Parliament Hon Bonface Ostiula promised to raise the matter in the National Assembly.