Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has insisted that the route of the standard gauge railway project which will go through the Nairobi National Park will not be changed despite an outcry from environmentalists.
He was speaking during the commissioning of the second phase of the construction project expected to begin in Nairobi and go through to Naivasha.
“We have done everything as required by the law. There are those who are trying to incite that this rail when constructed will damage the Nairobi national park, that’s nonsense, there is nothing of the sort, the park will still be available. We would like to stop inciting and stop the issues of taking people to court; let us build the railway because Kenya needs development and the animals will be protected as they are at the moment. I want to assure you there’s nothing going to happen that will affect our Nairobi national park,” he said.
Let us build the railway because Kenya needs development and the animals will be protected as they are at the moment
He also said those criticising the project were only being malicious.
Officially launched construction works for Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway project (Phase 2A) at Em-bulbul SGR project site. pic.twitter.com/ecyCdBgHmz— Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) October 19, 2016
Controversy over the route through the park was taken to court last month with environmental conservation campaigners demanding an alternative route.
According to experts, the second phase is expected to be the most challenging as the terrain to be covered is quite mountainous.
The rail project is considered one of the biggest under Kenyatta’s Jubilee government with just less than a year to the presidential elections.