The Railway Meter Gauge from Naivasha to lakeside town of Kisumu is in the offing after plans to extend the standard gauge railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Kisumu have started taking shape after the State submitted an environmental impact assessment report.
The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) is seeking approval for the project that will cost about Sh370 billion ($3.59 billion), funded by the Exim Bank of China.The 255km-line is the third phase of the SGR, that is set to push the total cost of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration pet project to Sh847 billion.
According to an an impact assessment report by Kenya Railways Corporation to the National Environment Management Authority NEMA is proposing to construct a 255 km SGR track between Naivasha and the proposed Kisumu Port.This project is phase 2B of the ongoing SGR construction and will cut through four counties, namely Narok, Bomet, Kericho and Kisumu.
Even though the SGR is targeted to be built up to the border town of Malaba, experts say linking Kisumu port to Mombasa is seen as an early landmark as it will allow cargo to be transported over lake Victoria to other East African states, making the SGR a more viable economic project.
For decades, Kisumu port registered robust business activity helped by a reliable railway system and maritime vessels that ferried cargo to ports such as Mwanza and Bukoba in Tanzania and Jinja and Port Bell in Uganda.Kenya has already commissioned an Oil-Jetty at Kisumu Port that is earmarked to transport petroleum products to Uganda,where the latter is in process of finalizing putting up Oil Jetty on their side,which according to sources is to be completed later this year.
Construction of a lake port is planned on the shores of Lake Victoria in Usare village, boosting trade with Kenya’s regional neighbours via Uganda’s Port Bell, Tanzania’s Mwanza Port with South Sudan via Jinja Port and Rwanda via Kimondo Bay.
The modern container port is likely to turn the lake-side town into a hub for trade in the Western region,which will ease pressure from port of Mombasa has handled an average of one million containers per year in the past three years, with most of its transit traffic heading to Uganda.