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Revamped rail from Naivasha to Malaba nears completion

By Antony Gitonga | September 14th 2021

Track lines at the Nairobi Central Railway station. November 10, 2020. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The linking of the rail transport between Kenya and Uganda will be completed in a month, a senior government official has said.

Once linked, it will see the transportation of cargo from Mombasa to Naivasha done through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), and later through the meter-gauge rail from Naivasha to Malaba.

This came as the government announced plans to introduce a 24-hour service at the Port of Mombasa and the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha.

Principal Secretary for East African Community (EAC) Kevit Desai who visited the ICD in Mai Mahiu that has been operational since last year said the government was keen on a seamless transfer of cargo from Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. “The EAC is working on a seamless interconnectivity and this will be achieved in a month when works on the meter-gauge railway line are complete,” he told the press.

Desai said the railway line was cheaper and faster compared to the road transport that has been in use for years. “By collecting goods from the ICD, traders from the neighbouring countries will have reduced the distance covered by trailers by over 400kms,” he said.

He said the ICD has so far received over 11,000 containers - 64 per cent being for local usage. “Operations on the depot are on the rise and it has a higher potential and of the cargo received here 30 per cent is on transit,” he said.

Desai noted that the government was keen to make the Port of Mombasa operational for 24 hours in line with other countries and emerging trends. “By making the Port and the ICD in Naivasha operational for 24 hours, we shall make them competitive in the region,” he said. Speaking earlier during a tour of ICD, Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the government was keen to make the park fully operational.

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