SGR construction to Naivasha stopped

Last month two people died on the spot when a section of the SGR collapsed.

The ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway stretch from Nairobi to Naivasha was on Thursday stopped following the unrest by the workers who downed their tools demanding better remuneration and working environment.

The Chinese contractor working on the stretch was on Thursday forced to call off work after a strike by workers in Mai Mahiu area of Naivasha entered the second day. Today is the third day of the strike by the workers.

More than 800 workers vowed not to resume work until their complaints are heard and solved. Key on their list of demands is a salary rise.

In the latest strike, the workers are accusing the contractor of subjecting them to poor and inhumane working conditions, which led to the death of the duo. A worker, identified as Peter Kuria quipped that staff at the Satellite site get lower wages compared to their colleagues.

Deaths

A worker who declined to be named said the section was weak following rains in the area that had pounded for over a week.

He said they heard a loud bang, followed by screams as the section caved in and buried the workers.

"They were six and we managed to retrieve four who were rushed to hospital but the other two had died before we could rescue them," he told the press.

The worker said all the six victims did not have protective helmets or protective gear.

He added: "Had the contractor provided safety gear, the lives would have been saved. We challenge the government to direct them to provide the same to us.”

Early this week, the already completed SGR between Mombasa and Nairobi launched a new cargo freight services, hauling nearly 400million tons per day between Mombasa and Nairobi.

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