Kenya’s government has allocated $US16.4 million for the construction of a 6km rail link to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Syokimau station on the main railway, which runs into the city centre station.
This is a key phase of Nairobi’s commuter rail upgrade project, finance minister Njeru Githae told parliament on 14 June. “To overcome past legacies,” he explained, “the government is developing and institutionalising a framework for efficient and effective planning and management of public sector investment projects”. The railway is part of the government’s effort to decongest Nairobi by easing traffic jams that cost the economy an estimated $US600,000 a day (according to statistics from the City Council of Nairobi) in lost productivity, fuel consumption and pollution. The new commuter system is expected to drastically reduce traffic providing residents in the satellite towns of Mlolongo, Athi River, Kitengela and Machakos with alternative access to the city. A number of existing railway stations are currently being rehabilitated.
The project includes extensive expansion of the road networks by a consortium of Chinese construction companies, financed by the Africa Development Bank, China Exim Bank and the Kenya government.
The transport ministry has invited private sector consultants to bid for the provision of detailed engineering services for the sections indentified.