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Monday, May 17, 2021 – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed a Ksh 5 billion deal with China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to link Kampala with the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kenya.
This is in a bid to enhance trade with Uganda as well as enable easier transport of goods via SGR from Kampala to Mombasa port.
Currently, goods are transported from the port of Mombasa to Uganda by road.
According to reports, Uganda will revamp the metre gauge line (from Malaba to Kampala) which will be linked to the SGR through the Naivasha to Malaba railway line.
The Chinese firm stated that it would take less than a year to rehabilitate the 260-kilometer line.
The ground-breaking deal was signed during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Uganda to attend Museveni’s inauguration.
Transport CS James Macharia was among the officials present during the signing.
“We came here to assist them (Uganda) conclude this deal.”
“It has been done.”
“The idea is to make sure that we have a seamless operation of the metre gauge railway line from Naivasha all the way to Kampala,” Macharia stated.
Initially, there had been concerns regarding the effectiveness of the railway line without linking to Kampala, which is a key trade partner at Mombasa port.
“We had contracted CRBC to rehabilitate the Longonot to Malaba line and the progress is good so far. So, we felt for it to make sense, Uganda had to also start doing the same for their line to make this project complete,” he stated.
The railway line is part of the government’s efforts to enhance ties with its neighbouring countries.
This comes after Uhuru and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu signed a Ksh100 billion deal that would see Tanzania construct a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa.
The Kenyan DAILY POST