A new railway is coming through Voi
Kenya Railways is developing a new railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi which will come through Voi, the town nearest the village of Mwakoma where the Kileva Eastfield School is located. It’s the first phase of a major project to connect Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda, and is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence from Britain in 1963. It began in October 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by 2018.
The good news is that construction of the railway has already brought new jobs to the area, and over time it will bring a desperately needed boost to the economy of each community that it touches. On the other hand some not so good news was that earlier this year Margaret was told that the railway would travel right through the land on which her house was located in Voi. Consequently she was forced to leave, and has since been living in temporary accommodation while she found some land to build a new house on.
This has obviously been a challenging time for her, but the good news is that her lovely new home is now nearing completion as shown in the following ‘photos:
Good luck in your new home Margaret!
Inevitably, the railway will also have an impact on the wildlife of the area. Although the new line is being positioned mostly near the existing Nairobi-Mombasa highway to minimise this impact, one stretch, not far from Voi, will cut through both the West and East sections of the Tsavo National Park.
However again there’s some good news in that measures are being taken to reduce the disruption. For example, a few kilometres inside the park at the Man Eater’s station camp – where hungry lions were forced to turn to the railway workers as an easy source of food during construction of the original railway in the 1890’s (click here for more info) – a two-kilometer overpass bridge will be built to act as a transport corridor to give wildlife exclusive access to the Tsavo River.
In addition, there is concern about how the movement of elephants will be affected throughout the area, and so eight corridors will be constructed along the Tsavo stretch to enable elephants to pass back and forth under the railway.
Although there will be many other issues associated with such a major undertaking before iut’s completed, I’m sure that in the long run the project will have a very positive affect on the whole area, including the people of Sagalla that all of us Kileva donors are supporting.