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Kenya Railways Speaks After Public Uproar Over Demolitions

Kisumu demolitions
[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Kenya Railways (KR) has responded to complaints from members of the public over the multi-agency railway land reclamation exercise is being carried out in parts of Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western regions.

In a statement on Wednesday, Kenya Railways said that the exercise which was initiated in 2019 is being done in good faith to provide a safe corridor for railway operations

“Necessary engagements, through various channels had been done to allow the affected persons time and space to have their concerns heard and seek alternative spaces to live or work. As a provider of transport solutions, we move different types of goods along our network including dangerous cargo and need to secure a safe corridor for operations to protect lives and secure goods while in transit,” the statement read in part.

“A similar exercise had been done in parts of Central and Nairobi Regions resulting in successful operationalisation of the Nanyuki Line and introduction of more commuter rail services in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.”

Read: Chaos As Kenya Railways Demolishes Buildings On Its Nakuru Land

Hundreds of residents in Kibos, Otonglo, Lela, Maseno and Muhoroni who had settled on Kenya Railways land were left homeless after the agency started the demolitions in a bid to reclaim its land that was irregularly awarded to private developers.

“To support the nation-wide rail revitalization program, we appeal to members of public occupying spaces reserved for railway operations to seek alternatives to avoid inconveniences and allow us to better serve the people of Kenya,” added the statement.

Kenya Railways MD Philip Mainga last year issued an eviction notice to families that lapsed, but the families refused to settle elsewhere.

The exercise was done to pave way for the construction of the railway line from Nakuru to Kisumu at a cost of Ksh3.8 billion.

This comes after the refurbishment of the Kisumu port at a cost of Ksh3 billion to promote the blue economy.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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