In 2016, the National Environment Tribunal stopped construction of a section of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) that was to pass through the park.
Phase 2A of the SGR project, Nairobi-Naivasha section, was to be constructed through the Nairobi National Park.
The orders were issued after activist Okiyah Omtatah and Kenya Coalition for Wildlife Conservation successfully filled an application against National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), Kenya Wildlife Service, China Road and Bridge Corporation, Kenya Railways Corporation, the Attorney General and the ministries of Environment and Transport.
In a letter dated September 19 that year, the tribunal chairman JK Awuor stopped the planned construction on grounds that Nema had failed to conduct a feasibility study for the project, which is to be undertaken by China Roads and Bridge Corporation company.
- READ MORE
- Revocation of Pauline Njoroge’s job was veiled gag order to free speech
- CS Najib Balala encourages domestic tourists to explore local offerings
- Board appointments should be on merit
- HR experts debate social media post which denied Njoroge plum job
"Take notice that the National Environment Tribunal has received an appeal from Okiyah Omtatah and Kenya Coalition for Wildlife Conservation and Management against Nema's failure to stop the project, which is currently underway without the benefit of Environmental Impact Assessment licence as mandated and required by law," said Awuor in the letter. Omtatah argued that without an assessment there is no room to explore an alternative route.
Njoroge's statement, appointment and revocation comes at a time when the tourism industry is grappling with the effects of the pandemic.
CS Balala and other government officials have called on Kenyans to be at the forefront in keeping local tourism alive as international tourists are kept away by the pandemic.
Kenyan tourism sector has lost about Sh80 billion since the breakout of Covid-19 in December last year.
“We lost 50 per cent of our revenue of Sh160 billion with the second half of the year being as good as zero,” Balala said in June at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi.
The CS also projected that for the first half of the current financial year, Kenya will get just 30 per cent of expected revenue. He attributed this massive drop to grounding of the aviation sector which is the largest contributor to tourism.
The tourism market also suffered significant loses with 65 per cent cancellations by domestic tourists; 38 per cent by regional visitors and 81 per cent being international tourists.