The Jubilee Administration has come under fire after photos surfaced of sections of its flagship project – the Standard Gauge Railway – being destroyed.
The quality of the project has been put into question just months before its official launch after it’s protection slope in Makueni County was washed away by heavy rains which lasted for five days.
Angry Kenyans are calling out the government and the Chinese construction company on the multi-billion-shilling Standard Gauge Railway which gave way even before the heavy rains of the long rainy season.
Is the SGR in trouble already due to short, light rains? How stable is the entire line of this has happened? pic.twitter.com/Mfj5oNIwiB
— SokoAnalyst (@SokoAnalyst) November 20, 2016
Engineer James Karanja, the lead consultant for Kenya Railways, came to the defence of the project saying damage was normal during construction. He said:
“It was not SGR that was washed away by rains. What happened was the protection slope of the railway was hit and damaged by storm waters before the drainage system was completed. That is normal in construction sites so there is no cause for alarm.”
He added that engineers were on the ground and working overtime to repair and complete construction of the damaged section and drainage system.
Transport and Infrastructure Principle Secretary, Irungu Nyakera, released a statement saying almost the same thing as Engineer Karanja while assuring Kenyans that construction to the affected areas was ongoing.
“The protection works is currently the main activity going on within SGR Mombasa to Nairobi. The rains came before everything was tied up and hence this is normal in any construction site.”
He added that repairs would be fast-tracked while giving assurance that the integrity of the line is beyond question.
The 609 km long Standard Gauge Railway is meant to transport both passengers and cargo between Mombasa and Nairobi with an extension planned all the way to Malaba at the Kenya – Uganda border.