Uganda signs Ksh5 billion deal with China to link railway to Kenya’s SGR

Railway construction on going. [Photo: courtesy]

Uganda will now link with Kenya through the Standard Gauge Railway line (SGR) on a Ksh5 billion deal with China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC).

According to Business Daily, Uganda will revamp the more than 100 years old metre gauge line -from Malaba to Kampala – and link it to the SGR through the Naivasha to Malaba railway line.

Kampala envisions enhancing trade with Kenya and easing the transport of good from Kenya to Uganda.

This is expected to ease congestion on the roads as trucks ferrying goods from Mombasa to Uganda will decrease.

CRBC will take one year to rehabilitate the railway line covering a distance of 260km.

The deal was recently signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta during his inauguration for a seventh term in office.

Transport CS James Macharia who had accompanied President Uhuru said that with Uganda in the picture, the railway line makes more sense.

“The idea is to make sure that we have a seamless operation of the metre gauge railway line from Naivasha to Kampala,” he said.

He said Kenya has been lobbying to have Uganda join the bandwagon now that works to revamp the railway line from Naivasha to Malaba have begun.

“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,” Macharia said.

The Mombasa to Naivasha SGR has cost Ksh477 billion.