A quick browse through the newly launched government website, http://www.delivery.go.ke, reveals a rather futuristic overview of just how the current leadership has foreseen the very nearing Vision 2030. With just about 12 years to the finish line of the so deemed and highly lauded development space of Vision 2030, a whole display of the branch projects , including the Standard Gauge Railway, is already on site.
The SGR, a multi billion shillings project, whose target is to improve and at the same time promote efficiency in transport service delivery between Kenya and the rest of East Africa, has a network of diverse projections at its peak. The project alone cost the government approximately Ksh.327B, but these are simply average figures.
Deeply engrossed in this one amazing yet controversial project is the absence of what many would call ‘affirmative action’ in regard to the contradiction that ensued between the environmentalists/conservationists and the government on whether the project should have a share of the re-known Nairobi National Park. The standoff went on and on till a recent revelation from unconfirmed sources citing the continuity of the project as stated earlier, with its original route set to be fully adhered to.
Perhaps a more thrilling spotlight on this railway is the significance it possesses not just on the community around but to the government as a poised entity. In the views of the public, the ease with which transportation of products to the closest market is to be enhanced is what captures their hearts most. We understand that majority of Kenyan residents are agriculturalists, so this must have been thought of deeply.
Another area that ought to be mentioned openly is that of the fast development that comes with a sudden change in infrastructural development. Businesses that pop up in the areas linked to the railway are massive and their profit margins, if not overlooked, could double in a matter of time, provided the operational environment is conducive.
‘ It takes more than eight hours to get to the Kenyan Coast, but now that time has been halved.’ Adds one of the proponents behind the railway logistics. For a normal train, in this case the traditional trains, it used to cost a lot in terms of time to travel to Mombasa. But with new modern trains, cargo and passengers will find themselves spending less than four hours on the tracks.