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Daily Nation : February 2nd 2014
SUNDAY NATION February 2, 2014 Sunday Review 31 RAILWAY | Nduva Muli says about 10,000 jobs will be created during construction while the railway will open Kenya for trade Rail a boon to economy, asserts PS MPs will debate two reports on the tender even as Executive said project unstoppable BY SUNDAY NATION REPORTER email@example.com T he report on the Westgate attack and the controversial Sh320 billion railway project will be top on the agenda of Parliament when it resumes from Christmas break in the next two weeks. This comes even as the Execu- tive has continued to defend the railway project with Transport PS Nduva Muli saying that Kenya is strategically located to be the transport hub in the East African region particularly for those countries using the Indian Ocean seafront for external trade. In a statement to the Sunday Nation, Mr Muli said the country should seize the opportunity to build a standard gauge railway in order to tap into this potential for trade through the Northern Corridor transport infrastructure, which serves Kenya, Uganda, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern DRC, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The Northern Corridor forms the backbone of transportation in this region and in Kenya alone, the corridor accounts for more than 80 per cent of the country’s GDP. 22m The number of tonnes the Port of Mombasa handled in 2012 on behalf of Kenya and the region. The plan is to have this rise to 56 tonnes per annum by 2030. BY CAROLINE WAFULA firstname.lastname@example.org @carwafs The Government Square at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre will be abuzz with activities this morning as the First Lady Mrs Margaret Kenyatta inaugurates a marathon in her campaign against HIV and pregnancy related deaths among children and women. Hundreds are expected to join Mrs Kenyatta in a workout that will serve as her training for the main First Lady’s Half Marathon scheduled for March 9 and the London Marathon on April 13 which she is scheduled to participate. The First Lady will be trained by former World athletics champion “Most of the economic activi- ties are centres around the towns such as Mombasa, Voi, Athi River, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu, which were all created by the building of the existing metre gauge railway,” he said. “A railway has the capacity to spur growth much more effectively than other modes of transport. Kenya is bound to lose its competitive edge to neighbouring countries as a transport hub should it fail to increase rail transport capacity in the Northern Corridor.” He says that the governments of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have already signed a Trilateral Agreement to build the standard gauge railway connecting the port of Mombasa to Kampala and Kigali. Other sections “The Agreement provides for a common design standard and subsequent seamless operations. The Mombasa-Nairobi section is a vital link (Phase 1) of this project and no other sections can be built without first building this section. In addition, on average 60 per cent of freight handled at the port of Mombasa originates or is destined to Nairobi,” said the PS. He said the justification for the project was the growing tonnage of goods coming into the country and the region through Mombasa. “In 2012, the Port of Mom- basa handled 22 million tonnes of freight for the whole region. This traffic is projected to grow at 6 per cent per annum reaching 56 million tonnes by 2030. This growth will only be realised with the support of an efficient and cost-effective rail transport system to speed up the off-take of freight. Without such infrastructure, the port will continue to be FILE | NATION HISTORY President’s pet project President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the loan agreement with the Chinese government in September and launched the project in November. Questions began emerging over the tender award with some, led by Nandi MP Alfred Ketel, alleging massive corrution. Two committes of Parliament took up the matter and are believed to be coming up with a report. The Executive is unmoved. inefficient and grossly affect the economic growth of the country and the region,” he said. He said that the new railway will also help to save roads which today bear nearly all of the tonnage going through Mombasa port into or from the country. “Kenya continues to bear the brunt of adverse side-effects created by over-reliance on road transport within the country and the region, including environmental degradation (through carbon emission) and damage to roads infrastructure requiring frequent and expensive interventions. Kenya, as the major user of the port of Mombasa, therefore, stands to gain substantially from a properly functioning railway system in the Northern Corridor,” said Mr Muli. In addition, he said it was much easier to secure goods transported by rail from vandals and First Lady to jog in city anti-HIV campaign Douglas Wakiihuri for the London Marathon. The events are part of her efforts to raise funds and awareness through her ‘Beyond Zero” Campaign’ aimed at taking prenatal and postnatal medical care and treatment to less privileged women and children in Kenya. Through the campaign, the First Lady intends to provide fully equipped mobile clinics for the 47 counties to increase access to health services. Activities at today’s inaugural cer- emony will include Zumba, aerobics and a jog around Government Square. Participants will also attend a free wellness clinic. The First Lady on Friday night hosted all the 47 county first ladies to a dinner at State House, Nairobi as part of her efforts to mobilise as many people as possible to take part in the training ahead to the race. Top Kenyan long distance runners also attended the dinner event. She told her guests that she launched the Strategic Framework for the engagement of the First Lady in HIV control and promotion of maternal, newborn and child heath after realising that change starts with her. The strategy aims at mobilising and providing leadership towards ending new HIV infections among children, and reducing of deaths among women and children. “As women and wives of leaders of this nation, we occupy very strategic positions to catalyse this change for women and children across this country. We must act now,” she urged the county first ladies. “Regardless of anyone’s status in As women and wives of leaders of this nation, we occupy very strategic positions to catalyse this change” Mrs Kenyatta society, it is unbelievably moving to hold your healthy baby in your arms, knowing that you hold the future of your family, the community and this nation in your hands,” she said. She said many women, however, do not get this chance as their experiences with childbirth are filled with fear, pain, sorrow and even death. Transport and Infrastructure PS Nduva Muli during a past press conference. Mr Muli has defended the standard gauge railway project saying it will boost Kenya’s economy. thieves which would bring down the cost of transportation. Besides, the new rail is ex- pected to create thousands of jobs. “At least 60 new jobs will be created per kilometre of track during construction period. These will be in the categories of general labour, semi-skilled (drivers and clerks), skilled (carpenters, masons, general fitters, welders, electricians) skilled (engineers, accountants, environmentalists, sociologists),” said the PS. “Large quantities of local inputs such as steel, cement, aggregates, electricity generation and electricity transmission pylons and cables, roofing materials, glass, and so on will be required by the project. These will create business opportunities for individuals and SMEs for the short and the long term.” HENRY NYAGA | PSCU First Lady Margaret Kenyatta with former marathon world record holder Tegla Loroupe at State House, NairobI, on Friday.
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