3 Major Flaws in Uhuru's Latest Multi-billion Project

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Wednesday, October 16, launched a multi-billion project that Kenyans could not help but notice major flaws hovering around it.

    Fear of incompletion

    According to a report by The East Africanthe second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is barely complete with fears rising that it might not reach completion at all.

    Phase 2A passes through Ongata Rongai, Ngong, Maai Mahiu and ends at Suswa. The Chinese government, which financed the Ksh150 billion project, declined to release funds for the remaining part of the railway line which was meant to end in Kisumu.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta whose SGR project contains three major flaws including accessibility and funding issues.

    Phase 2A alone was scheduled to reach Naivasha until the Chinese government pulled out funding.

    Low cargo volume

    The publication further detailed how low cargo volume on the route, and Uganda's apparent sluggishness in joining the project, forced the contractor to shelve the cargo line's construction to a later date.

    Serious doubts have been cast over the on the line's completion if it fails to attract enough cargo to make the project viable, something that has the potential of rendering the much-hyped Naivasha Inland Deport near-useless. 

    Long distances from towns to the stations

    Fears are also rife that the stations along the latest SGR line are located at secluded locations that are sparsely populated.

    The four stations are reportedly many kilometers away from any major town and vehicles plying the routes to the designated stations are few.

    People were more dismayed with the Rongai Station's pricing where a user would apparently part with Ksh100 in economy class and Ksh200 in first-class per trip from the Kajiado town to Nairobi.

    As if that is not enough, the passengers would foot the exorbitant transport fees from Syokimau SGR station to do business in Nairobi CBD.

    This is a significant departure from the glamour that surrounded the launch of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway line. 

    So big was the project that the cargo line commenced operations way before the passenger one and months before the entire project was launched by the president.

    This came days after Mombasa truck operators demonstrated against a punitive policy requiring them importers to reroute cargo to the SGR prompting the government to backtrack. 

    Maai Mahiu Station along the SGR Phase 2A. Courtesy Kenya Railways.