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Ruto launches Sh30 billion rail city project

President William Ruto plants a tree at Kabete National Polytechnic on December 6, 2022. [[Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Works on the Sh30 billion Nairobi Railway City has finally began.

On Wednesday, President William Ruto officiated the ground breaking at the Nairobi Central station where he said the project was a milestone for the country’s economic agenda.

The project funded by the United Kingdom government seeks to transform the city’s transport sector by enhancing railway transport to decongest the Central Business District.

“Transport systems are the corner stone of efficiency,” said President Ruto, adding that the improvements his administration is making in the sector are strategic. 

Apart from rail transport, the project will also have  motorised and non motorised transport. 

Ruto said apart from the project eliminating urban congestion and delays, it will be an iconic nerve centre for a thriving continental metropolis.  The project will be done in two phases,  with the first set to realise 10,000 housing units. 

“This development will contribute to our plan to deliver 250,000 housing units annually,” said the President .

He said that micro, small and medium enterprises will benefit as well from the project as their will be retail spaces for businesses. 

The President was accompanied by his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, Lands CS Zachariah Njeru, Tourism CS Penina Malonza and Trade CS Moses Kuria. 

The UK government was represented by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly who said the project will keep Kenya’s climate agenda on track. 

“This is the template for the kind of development partnership that UK wants to provide on the future,” said Mr Cleverly. Cleverly said Kenya is a strategic partner for the UK as a country committed to net zero and renewable agenda.  

He said the funding from UK government is climate oriented as repayments can be suspended in case of drought or other related situations, “which will free resources that may be in need for emergency response”. 

UK’s Atkins Global is the designer of the project. The design for the Nairobi Railway City was unveiled in May.