Why the SGR has been a godsent gift to thousands of Kenyans

The SGR has created more jobs in the economy since its launch

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The Standard Gauge Railway is set to be launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 31 in a ceremony to be attended by government officials including those from China.

The railway has been mainly funded by the Chinese government and has been completed 18 months ahead of schedule.

Now ahead of its launch, it is worth noting how much the project has been of value to the economy in terms of solving the unemployment crisis facing the country.

Since its launch on November 28, 2013 the Standard Gauge Railway has so far employed over 30, 000 Kenyans as both semi-skilled and non-skilled workers.

This means that for every Chinese employed to operate on the site, at least 10 Kenyans would be taken up.

Over 2,200 Chinese worked on the project as both railway engineers and managers; creating employment for thousands of Kenyans living around the railway.

Besides creating employment, many drought hit areas in the Eastern region have been able to access water through the tens of boreholes dug around areas where the railway passes.

Over and above, the Chinese and Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) officials said the 30, 000 jobs will be sustainable as the railway will require maintenance with time.

The project has however had its fair share of criticism and challenges among them complaints from environmental lobby groups and SGR workers and CRBC being termed as unable to meet the set deadline due to lack of funding.

Lobby groups cited the risk the SGR poses to wildlife given that a section of the railway going through Voi terminal had its electricity lines destroyed by elephants.

Phase one of the SGR runs from Mombasa to Nairobi through seven counties while phase two, expected to kick off construction in the next two months, will run across parts of Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nakuru and Narok counties

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