Construction of standard gauge railway (SGR) stopped

The National Environment Tribunal has ordered the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) to stop the construction of Sh63 billion Standard Gauge Railway.

Construction of SGR

The tribunal issued the order in order to determine whether or not proper environmental assessment on the route had been done by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)

“It is clear when there is an appeal to the tribunal concerning environmental issues, the status quo is maintained until the dispute is determined. Thus, this is to direct that all activities relating to the construction of Phase 2A of the SGR be stopped until the appeal is determined,” part of the order from the tribunal read.

In its petition, the lobby group noted that the National Environmental Management Authority issued the environment impact assessment license without following the correct procedures.

The tribunal added that major institutions for environment and wildlife were not consulted before NEMA issued the license.

“The report the licence is based upon has serious flaws, including being inconsistent with the legal framework governing environment protection.

"It assumes other agencies will supervise the construction when the contract is exclusively given to a foreign entity,” the lobby said in a statement.

The tribunal also expressed concern on the resettlement plans for those who will be displaced during the construction of the railway line.

The new announcement deals a major blow to the government which had already laid down plans to complete the construction.

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