Conservationists urge government to Re route SGR Line

A section of conservationists want the government and Kenya Railways Corporation to stop the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway within Nairobi National Park.

They said the duo should obey the stop order issued by the National Environment Tribunal on the June 6, 2017 directing that all further construction activities in the park cease until all five cases before the courts are heard and determined.

The Kenyan Coalition for the Conservation and Management of Fauna Chairman, Sidney Quntai said that the diversion of the railway into the park was unnecessary and disruptive to wildlife movement patterns and migration.

We have offered the government a cheaper eco friendlier alternative route passing along the edge of the park through Ngong Hills to Naivasha, but the government has refused to consider it, said Quntai during protests in the streets of Nairobi on Thursday.

The protests followed mapping and movement of heavy machinery and equipment into the National Park by the China Roads and Bridge Company on Friday last week.

He said the conservationists will institute legal proceedings to quash the gazettement of the park as it was done without consensus, adding that the group is also demanding that a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is done on the effects of the line.

Reinhardt Bonke, an Administrative Assistant of the Friends of Nairobi National Park organization lamented that the railway line will cause additional human wildlife conflict with the surrounding communities.

Already there are fewer giraffes and zebras in the areas where mapping is happening. In a few years there will be no animals in the park if the line is allowed to continue as planned, said Bonke.

The conservationists served a copy of the Stop Order to the Kenya Railways Corporation Head office but no officials were available for comment as the Managing Director, Atanas Maina was away on official duty.

Source: Kenya News Agency