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September 21, 2017

Kenyans rap state, Chinese contractor after flood waters sweep sections of SGR

A section of the SGR that was washed away by the ongoing short rains.Photo/COURTESY
A section of the SGR that was washed away by the ongoing short rains.Photo/COURTESY

The ministry of transport has come under fire from Kenyans on social media after a picture showing part of the SGR washed away by flood waters emerged.

The incident has sparked outrage among Kenyans who have lashed at the Chinese contractors and the government for the error on the much expected railway line.

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is tipped as one of the Jubilee Administration's flagship projects under the Kenya Vision 2030.

Most of those who reacted to the photo are now questioning the durability of the railway line after its showed weak points even before its official use.

They castigated the China Road and Bridge Corporation - the company contracted to build the line - of doing a shoddy job.

SGR is scheduled to be officially commissioned for use by December 2017.

Read: SGR project to be completed December, six months ahead of schedule

"These Chinese builders can't be serious. This is the situation of SGR even before Kenyans can use it. Did we pay billions for such a shoddy job?" Patrick Safari, a twitter user, said

Others called on Kenyans to be patient till the completion of the project and avoid criticising it just because of a mere photo.

"Any damage on the line will just be repaired we just need to wait for its completion not start blowing things out of proportion," a user, identified as Son of Nganga, said.

Teddy Nderitu also called on the government to stop wasting money into the project citing that it is draining of the country's resources.

"I do not know what will happen when the project fails to kick off. We may end up paying for loans on a ghost project now that it has already started to fall apart," Nderitu said.

The 609km-long line is being built to transport passengers and cargo transportation between Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Nairobi.

The first phase of the SGR project aims to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan and is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence.

Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera on Sunday said the protection works is currently the main activity currently going on within SGR Mombasa to Nairobi.

"The rains came before everything was tied up and hence this is normal in any ongoing construction site. The contractor will fast track while ensuring integrity of the line is beyond question," he said in a statement.

Read: Conservationists protest SGR's Nairobi National Park route

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