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11 Jul 2016

Business Daily (Kenya)

Kenya: High cost of stalled railway project demonstrate how land disputes with locals could impact infrastructural projects

"Editorial: Lessons for State from stalled SGR project"

Reports that taxpayers are losing Sh37.9 million daily following the suspension of the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) are worrying. According to the Kenya Railways Corporation, it has been losing $376,000 every day since the construction was suspended by a court on June 24. The losses include workers’ pay, expenses for running the construction site and for contracted supplies. We opine that there is urgent need for speedy judicial intervention so as to get the multi-billion shilling project restarted.

At the core of the stoppage is failure to pay compensation to a land owner, which had been awarded by the National Land Commission. Due process should be followed and the rightful compensation paid, but public interest must also weigh...The suspension also offers the government crucial lessons to always ensure that in future it takes cognisance of all factors before embarking on similar huge projects.