Tuesday, January 6, 2009




January 6 2009

Uganda, Kenya not keen on feasibility study.
Study estimated to cost Sh800 million.

The governments of Uganda and Kenya are keen to speed up the construction of the Kenya-Uganda railway line.

In a joint steering meeting on the construction of the new Kenya-Uganda railway chaired by Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga, both governments said there was no need for conducting a feasibility study.

Mr Odinga did not see the need for the study estimated to cost Sh800 million with Kenya’s contributing over Sh600 million. His view was shared by the Uganda minister for Works and Transport John Nasasira.

According to the PM such studies often gather dust at Government offices and are never implemented.

“Why do we have to spend a whooping ten million dollars for a feasibility study? All we need is to design the railway line.

Mr Nasasira said: “The new standard gauge railway line is long overdue. Let us go the British way. They never did a feasibility study. We know for certain that we need the railway line.”

The PM also took issue with the timing for the project which states that the construction should be complete by 2017.

“In 1896, the railway constructors took five years to reach Kisumu from Mombasa. At this age and era of technology, it should take us less than three years to reach Kampala,” said Mr Odinga.

He maintained that the move will unlock the East African countries potential which is currently being hampered by poor transport systems.

“We are not here for fun or mere drama. We know that Kenyans is strategically placed to serve as the transport hub for the region.”

The PM called for the delegations from the two countries to show the will and power to undertake the project saying it will help interconnect the Eastern Africa region.

“East African Federation is the direction to go if we are to be taken serious. In fact, I am for the fast tracking of the process to achieve the set goals earlier that the set time frame,” said the PM.

Transport minister Chirau Mwakwere said the current railway gauge is overwhelmed by luggage from the port estimated at 16 million tons.

“The current railway’s cargo hauling capacity has continued to decline accounting for less than 6 per cent freight movement on the northern corridor by 2007,” said Mr Mwakwere.

The minister said it requires Sh38 billion to restore to railway to its full capacity of handling 5 million tons of luggage besides the increasing number of passengers whose demand for rail transport services has outstripped the present capacity.

Present were ministers James Orengo (Lands), Moses Wetang’ula (Foreign Affairs), Ali Mwakwere (Transport), Wycliffe Oparanya (Planning and Vision 2030) and attorney General Amos Wako.


Submitted by Newshawk
Posted January 06, 2009 06:48 PM

I am impressed by my PM for bringing the issue of the railway line taking 5 years to reach Kisumu. What the PM who is also an engineer does not seem to ralize is the fact the then engineers were different from the ones we have now. Todays engineers are able to stretch a day's job to a month in order to make more money, by claiming climbing cost of materials etc.

Submitted by boniras72
Posted January 06, 2009 04:28 PM

Kenya needs a new modern wide gauge line.It will creat jobs and make transport easy.passager trains should be introduced.B2n Mombasa nairobi 2 dep each day and time 3 hrs and Nrb to kisumu.introduce the computerised booking..why not talk to the indian or chinish railways for help and braches to border sudab and ethiopia.actually sudan is supposed to be same time.boni norway

Submitted by wuod_aketch
Posted January 06, 2009 04:12 PM

In terms of railway technology, the PM should not go the British way but the French one. The French have the best and most efficient railway transport system in the world. The cities of Lyon and Marseille are connected by the TGV (High velocity trains). Marseille which is about 780 km from Paris is only 3hrs. Imagine travelling from Mombasa to Kamplala at that speed? So Mr PM get the best technology around and not be blinded by colonial fidelity. The British are "out" when it comes to trains.