SGR stalled by problem tracing Ngong landowners

No construction on five kilometres in Ngong, plans by President to launch on Madaraka Day collapse

In Summary

• Finding genuine landowners along Tuala area in Ngong is difficult.

• Situation worse because of delay in nominating National Land Commission with mother titles.

The Nairobi-Naivasha SGR
The Nairobi-Naivasha SGR
Image: file

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s hope of launching the second SGR phase by September is in jeopardy because construction has stalled along five kilometres in Ngong.

Further, there's the delay in nominating the next National Land Commission.

Finding landowners along the stretch in Tuala area in Ngong has proved difficult.

Yesterday, China Road and Bridge Corporation Corporate Communications officer Jeanne Ongiyo told the Star that five kilometres have not been touched. The 120km line runs from Nairobi to Naivasha.

“We await nomination of the next Commissioners as they have the mother titles,” she said, adding that finding the genuine owners has been difficult and delayed compensation.

“Landowners bought land before subdividing and selling. Tracing them is hectic because in some places, there are caretakers. while other owners are outside the country,” she said.

When asked if the project will be delayed, Ongiyo said, “We cannot dictate time as everything has to be done as per the laws of the land."

The valuation was ongoing, she said.

Ongiyo said the project is so critical that it will not be rushed.

Phase 2A includes the construction of tunnels, the supply and commissioning of 56 locomotives, supply and commissioning of 40 passenger coaches and the supply and commissioning of 1,620 freight wagons.

The 4.5km Ngong Tunnel is complete. Other completed tunnels are Kimuga ( 1.6km) and Nachu ( 1km). 

Ongiyo said the delay by the Kenya Power to relocate lines resulted from a “communications breakdown”.

“Money for relocation had been released but there was a communication breakdown between the head office and the personell on the ground,” she said.

The first batch of commissioners and chair left office on February 19.

The 120km stretch was launched in October 2016 and will pass through five counties, Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nakuru and Narok.

The project is co-financed by the Kenyan and Chinese governments. It was to be launched on Madaraka Day, June 1.

This won't happen as nominating the new commissioners will take at least three months.

Already, the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya has urged the President to appoint new commissioners as soon as possible, saying critical services have stalled. It says reforms have stalled, and without commissiners the staff is rudderless.