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Standard Gauge Railway Project Phase 2A Nairobi-Naivasha, Kenya

Angry people marched in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to protest plans to build a railway line to Naivasha and Kisumu over the Nairobi National Park.


The 120 km SGR phase 2A line between Nairobi and Naivasha is being constructed at a cost of Sh150 billion (about 1.5 billion USD) financed by the Exim Bank of China and the Government of Kenya. The Stretch between Mombasa and Nairobi was the first part of the two-phase project. Phase 2B of the project will run between Nairobi, Naivasha, Narok, Bomet, Nyamira and Kisumu. It will also include the development of a new high capacity port at Lake Victoria, Kisumu. Phase 2C of the SGR will connect Kisumu and Malaba through Yala and Mumias.[1]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Standard Gauge Railway Project Phase 2A Nairobi-Naivasha, Kenya
State or province:Nairobi
Location of conflict:Nairobi National Park
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Establishment of reserves/national parks
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Railway
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Phase two of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project from the city to Naivasha, through the Nairobi National Park.

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Project area:87.4
Level of Investment:1,500,000,000
Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:2016
Company names or state enterprises:China Road and Bridge Engineering Co., Ltd. (CRBC) from China - primer contractor
China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) from China - The China Communications Construction Company will be operating the railway for the first five years.
Relevant government actors:-Kenyan government and railway authorities
-National Environment Tribunal
-National Environment Management Authority
-Kenya Railways Corporation
-National Land Commission
International and Finance InstitutionsChina Exim Bank from China - 90% of the investments are loans from Exim
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Kenya Coalition for Wildlife Conservation
-Friends of Nairobi National Park (Fonnap)
-Save the Elephants
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Other socio-economic impacts, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:The "OPEN LETTER TO H.E. THE PRESIDENT OF KENYA" said, "Alternatives exist for the SGR. It can go well south of NNP (National Park Nairobi) directly to its westward destinations with a feeder route to Nairobi to transport any people and cargo. We can have the SGR and all its benefits as well as conserve the NNP and the entire natural and cultural heritage that it represents. We cannot simply opt for a cheaper option that works in the short term but has a long-term cost that is unquantifiable and detrimental."
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The construction work started in 2016 despite the order from the court and then tried to resume in 2017. The route is unchanged, and the wildlife is still at risk.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[6] Railway to cut through Nairobi National Park
[click to view]

[3] Planned Rail Line Would Intersect Kenya’s Nairobi National Park
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[click to view]

[1] Second phase of SGR to resume in two weeks
[click to view]

[2] Railway to cut through Nairobi National Park
[click to view]

[5] Protest targets Chinese-planned railway line over Kenya's oldest wildlife park
[click to view]

[8] Kenya launched phase 2 of SGR rail project
[click to view]

[10] Campaign to re-route the Standard Gauge Railway outside Nairobi National Park garners support from the coast
[click to view]

[11] SGR should not pass through game reserves, protesters say
[click to view]

[12] SGR changed to cut deep into Nairobi National Park
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[14] Second phase of SGR to resume in two weeks
[click to view]

[15] Payout demands delay SGR line from Nairobi to Naivasha
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[7] Another win in court sets stage for further action against the railway through the park
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

‘Road to Prosperity’ episode 9: Mombasa-Nairobi SGR boosts employment in Kenya
[click to view]

[9]Activists and conservationists hold SGR protests in Mombasa
[click to view]

Other documents

Dozens of angry people have marched in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to protest plans to build a railway line over a national park.
[click to view]

SGR will kill the park The protesters included conservationists and others who wore T-shirts and carried banners saying "don't rape our park."
[click to view]

Reroute the SGR, save the park
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB
Last update07/12/2017
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