A new investigative report has revealed details of an unknown side of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), exposing shocking cases of , among other things, racism from Chinese workers towards Kenyans and hidden killings of wild animals.
Standard uncovered evidence that the SGR has so far left at least two lions and five buffaloes dead.
The animals, some of Kenya's most precious national resources, were ran over by trains snaking throught the Tsavo National Park.
They are later lifted from the tracks using cranes, photos of which the daily claims to have in their posession.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, renowned conservationist and author of The Big Conservation Lie Mordecai Ogada stated that Kenya was paying the price for "taking shortcuts" by failing to properly implement measures necessary to mitigate the impact of infrastructure development on ecosystems.
[caption caption="An SGR passenger train"][/caption]
"The impact will be negative. There are ways to mitigate the impact, but the problem is these infrastructure projects are simply cash cows for some people. Proper environmental assesments and these mitigation measures take time and delay the money these people get," he explained.
Ogada further noted that with the next phase of the SGR going through the Nairobi National Park, the damage would be just as bad if not worse for the same reasons.
In addition, he noted that part of the problem was that currently, those undertaking environmental assesments for such projects were paid directly by the contractors making it difficult for them to be frank on the potential damage they could cause.
He proposed that contractors pay the fee for assesment to government agencies such as the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
The Conservation Alliance of Kenya (CAK), on the other hand, lamented that their protests during the construction of SGR I were ignored as they were led on while a decision had already been made.
“Our letters went unanswered but we got verbal assurances that the routes through the park were off the table and they would be making alternative considerations and that we would be fully involved in the process,” noted CAK Secretary Lucy Waruingi in a statement.
[caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta on a past inspection of the SGR"][/caption]
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