Construction of the second phase of Kenya’s ambitious Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line has begun as an initial 1,224 residents from the country’s Kiambu, Nakuru and Narok Counties have now been employed to work by China Construction Communications Company (CCCC), the project contractor.
The contractor had already employed 5,265 Kenyan workers at the end of 2017, who are currently working in various substations.
Steve Zhao, Spokesperson at the Head Office of Kenya for the SGR Project noted more employment opportunities will open up once massive construction commences.
Once completed, the SGR project is expected to shorten the length of time that goods take to reach Kenya and her East African neighbours by rail. Kenya already serves as a major transport corridor for the region due to its strategically-located coastline.
“The project is currently in its initial stage as we conduct geological and preliminary works. As the project advances, we will recruit more people to meet the construction needs,” he explained.
The Kenya Railways Corporation, a state-controlled organisation that acts as a transport sector regulator, has already completed an initiative titled the Relocation Action Plan (RAP), which will aid people displaced by the project.
CCCC has so far facilitated temporary accommodation units for its employees who would prefer to reside close to the camp.
Transport arrangements have also been improved with one subsection office providing seven 50-seater buses to ferry the employees to and from work.
Dubbed Phase 2A, the transport line, which will pass through Kenya’s Nairobi and Naivasha regions, will pass through the nation’s five Counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nakuru and Narok.
Throughout the design, construction, operation and management of the SGR project, China Communications and Construction Company has supported Kenya’s local communities with a cross-section of corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects.
So far, more than 70 CSR activities have been organised, including the drilling of boreholes, donation of learning materials to local schools, community road and bridge repairs and environmental conservation activities.