The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has started to take shape after the contractors put up a mobilisation site in Mariakani.
Principal Secretaries in the MInistry of Transport and Infrastructure Eng John Mosonik (infrastructure) and Nduva Muli (transport) led a government delegation to inspect the facility at Ngwasheni, Mariakani, 30 kilometres from Mombasa.
The Mariakani site will host a campsite, concrete mixing site and laboratories to be used by the project contractor, China Road & Bridges Construction (CRBC). “Our visit today is to access and inspect work of the proposed SGR project, which is due to kick off in October on the 472 kilometre SGR that will run from Mombasa to Nairobi,’’ Muli said.
Other similar camp sites will be in Samburu, Mtito Andei, Kathekani and Nairobi, respectively. CRBC General Manager, Kenya office, Mr Li Qiang said the concrete mixing plant will be used to construct materials for building bridges and concrete slippers that will be used in laying the rail track.
“Most of the raw materials here have been sourced from the locality, giving direct jobs to those around here,’’ Qiang said. Kenya Railways (KR) Managing Director, Athanas Maina said the Mariakani site will house the main branch office for contractors, project supervisor and KR personnel in involved in the project.
Meanwhile, Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) says it is automating weighbridges to minimise human contact thus limiting instances of graft. KeNHA director general, Eng Meshack Kidenda, said the agency was working closely with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to rid the road sector of corruption. Kidenda said that apart from the Mariakani, Mlolongo and Gilgil, a fourth weighbridge is to be constructed in Webuye.
On his part, Eng Mosonik said, “The integrity of staff manning weighbridges should be above board. There have been instances where officials have been pocketing huge bribes to allow overloaded vehicles onto our roads,’’ Mosonik said.
By Philip Mwakio, The Standard