HEADLINE Chinese firm says SGR safe despite Kenya's heavy rain


Chinese firm says SGR safe despite Kenya's heavy rain


03:34, April 28, 2018


A section of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which began operation in 2017. (File photo : Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

The extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Kenya's capital of Nairobi to lakeside town of Naivasha is safe despite the emergence of fault-lines and flooding along the Mai Mahiu area in northwest Kenya, the Chinese firm undertaking the project said on Friday.

The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), however, admitted that the ongoing rains had affected the extension of the line mainly along the Mai Mahiu-Narok road.

Steve Zhao, the spokesperson for the Kenya SGR Head Office, said the railway line was safe and on course.

Zhao noted that they had made all the necessary measures to make sure that there was no flooding around the railway that is currently under construction.

"We have constructed culverts after every 500 meters for drainage and since the rains started we have not recorded any flooding around the railway line," Zhao said at the construction site.

"The rains have, however, affected the speed which we would have liked to use but the project is on course and we are still within the set time lines," he added.

Zhao's remarks came in the wake of reports by geologists that sections of the area had underground fault lines which could affect the stability of the modern railway line.

Zhao thanked the government for the continued support adding that on their part, they had assisted local communities through water, roads and job opportunities.

"We have managed to construct some modern houses for the Masais and we shall continue working with the communities around," he said.

During the visit to the site, one of the few women SGR operators Betty Muthuka expressed her delight in working in a male-dominated sector.

The 27-year-old said she had worked in the first phase of the project from Mombasa and had brought the expertise to Naivasha where she was operating an excavator.

"I am glad that I am among the few women operators working for the Chinese contractor and am challenging other ladies to join me in this sector," Muthuka said.

The mother of one admitted that there were challenges due to her gender but was quick to note that through the work she was able to support her family.

"Just like other job opportunities, this one has its own challenges but am happy that the managers and my fellow workers have embraced me," she said.

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