28-06-2019 by redazione
The Chinese said yes.
After financing the standard gauge railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi, they will continue the construction of the fast railway artery up to Kisumu, effectively connecting the three largest cities of Kenya and the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria, through the capital Nairobi.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Transport James Macharia, who at the same time confirmed that in September will be active phase 2 of the project, which provided for the arrival of the SGR at the railway station of Naivasha.
In recent days the media had assumed that the restoration of the old railway from the border with Uganda to Kampala meant that Chinese companies abandoned the initial project, which involved the connection between Mombasa and Kampala. Instead, the Minister confirmed that the funds have been approved by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and are now being examined by the Exim Bank, which is examining the financial dynamics of the loans.
"By September we will begin to receive freight trains in Naivasha from Mombasa and the Naivasha-Kisumu route is not yet ready - said Macharia - we had to rehabilitate the old railway to Malaba so that, while it will take nine hours for the goods to arrive in Naivasha, it should take the same time for the container trains to reach Uganda, which is our largest customer. Without modernising it, it could take two full days," said CS. He also said that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has approved the necessary funds, which are now with Exim Bank.
Work on connecting Naivasha to Kisumu is expected to take three to four years.
Originally, the SGR was conceived by the governments of four countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, which signed a document called the SGR Protocol, which contains commitments requiring each country to complete its part. In fact, for the moment, only Kenya is doing its bit, thanks to funding from China.
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