Kenya Initiates SGR Extension to Kisumu and Uganda

Works and Transport Minister Katumba Wamala (right, seated), and his Kenyan counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, (left, seated) sign a communiqué affirming their commitment to construct the SGR in a coordinated manner in Mombasa mid-last year.

Summary:

  • Kenya is commencing the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu and Uganda.

Kenya is set to initiate the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line from Naivasha to Kisumu and onwards to the Ugandan border this year.

Governor Prof Peter Anyang’Nyongo’o of Kisumu City in Kenya expressed optimism about the extension of the SGR to Kisumu and eventually Uganda, considering it a positive development for business and travel between the neighboring countries. In a statement, Prof Anyang’Nyongo’o, who also serves as the chairman of the Lake Region Economic Block, conveyed gratitude to the national government for its commitment to expanding the SGR infrastructure.

Last year, Uganda and Kenya collaboratively agreed to build the SGR from Naivasha in Kenya to Kampala City in Uganda simultaneously. Minister of Works and Transport Gen Katumba Wamala and his Kenyan counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen signed a joint communiqué in Mombasa, Kenya, outlining the financing and development plans for the SGR to Kampala and beyond.

Prof Anyang’Nyongo’o mentioned that Mr. Murkomen anticipates covering 35 percent of the SGR project by December. The SGR project coordinator in Uganda, Canon Perez Wamburu, revealed plans for Uganda to commence its construction in the upcoming financial year, starting in July, with resources allocated in the 2024/2025 budget.

Canon Wamburu highlighted ongoing efforts to compensate individuals affected by the project between the Malaba border and Jinja City. Emphasizing the cost-effectiveness of railways as a means of transport, he noted that the SGR and the rehabilitation of the meter-gauge railway between Malaba and Kampala City are complementary initiatives.

The meter-gauge railway is designated for heavy cargo, such as steel, while the SGR will handle containerized cargo. Uganda secured funding and contracted a Turkish company to construct a 273-kilometer SGR stretch from Malaba to Kampala at a cost of $2.2 billion, with construction slated to begin in August.

Uganda’s President Museveni outlined plans to extend the SGR from Kampala to Kasese in western Uganda, connecting the Democratic Republic of Congo and later South Sudan, aiming to reduce regional transportation costs. The SGR project, initiated in 2014 as a regional venture, encountered obstacles during the construction phase in Naivasha, Kenya. However, renewed commitment and funding now propel the project forward, marking a significant advancement in regional rail connectivity.

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