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Sunday, May 28, 2017

SGR phase 2 works on, despite stop order

A man walks along the Standard Gauge Railway Tsavo Bridge which passes through Tsavo East National Park. Environmentalists have protested a move by the state to route the Phase two of the SGR through the Nairobi National Park. Photo Andrew Kasuku
A man walks along the Standard Gauge Railway Tsavo Bridge which passes through Tsavo East National Park. Environmentalists have protested a move by the state to route the Phase two of the SGR through the Nairobi National Park. Photo Andrew Kasuku

Work on phase two of the Standard Gauge Railway from the city to Naivasha, through the Nairobi National Park, continued yesterday despite stop orders.

On Wednesday the National Environment Tribunal ordered the contractor to suspend all activities on the Sh63 billion project.

The order was issued after activist Okiya Omtatah and the Kenya Coalition for Wildlife Conservation appealed the decision by Nema to issue an environmental impact assessment licence on January 10.

They say the EIA was conducted hurriedly, without any consultation and in total disregard of procedural and legal requirements provided by the law.

conservation areas

“Section 129 ( 4 ) of EMCA states that upon any appeal to the Tribunal under this section, the status quo of any matter or activity, which is the subject of the appeal, shall be maintained until the appeal is determined,” JK Awour said in the orders issued on Wednesday.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to direct that all activities relating to the appeal in question must be stopped until the appeal is heard and determined by the Tribunal.” The orders were served on Kenya Railways and Kenya Wildlife Service, and yesterday China Road and Bridge Company, the main contractor.

Yesterday activities were ongoing on sites, including sites set up inside the park by the contractor two weeks ago.

Phase 2A has been planned to ran from Nairobi South railway station to Naivasha Industrial Park in Enosupukia.

The activists claims that the National Environmental Management Authority licence was awarded illegally.

They are against having the line cut through conservation areas, saying there is no justification to have the line inside parks.


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