Leakey agency rejects SGR route across park
In his capacity as KWS chairman, Richard Leakey has endorsed the controversial route, saying it is the ‘best of the bad’ options
An organisation founded by renowned conservationist and KWS chairman Richard Leakey has joined groups opposing the standard gauge railway route cutting through the Nairobi National Park.
Wildlife Direct has joined the ‘Save Nairobi Park, Reroute the SGR’ movement. Leakey, in his capacity as the Kenya Wildlife Service chairman, has endorsed the controversial route, saying it as the “best of all the bad” alternatives. He said it will cause the least disruptions. Initially, the organisation was silent, but its open opposition could sound a blow to Jubilee’s flagship project.
During the SGR-Nairobi National Park Dialogue Forum held last week at the Multimedia University of Kenya, Wildlife Direct and 10 other organisations voted against allowing the line to cut through the park.
A report sent out to newsrooms on Friday stated participants unanimously opposed the project through the park.
“The park is not an option for the line and no construction should go on until all issues are resolved,” the report said. The conservationist groups called on the government to respect the court order barring further activities on the project. “We should adopt the route suggested by the Friends of Nairobi National Park, which avoids going through the park, and have diversion of trains from Konza City or Athi River next to the EPZ,” the forum said in the report.
The report will be complied and delivered to President Uhuru Kenyatta and all agencies implementing the project this week. Fonnap has been pushing to have the line diverted from Konza City, further south behind Kitengela town. It recommends that the route then run down to Isinya, then to Corner Baridi and to Ngong.
In December last year, a proposed design had shown the line running along the Southern Bypass near the Carnivore Restaurant then pass through the Hyena Dam.
Kenya Wildlife Service chairman Richard Leakey with Environment CS Judi Wakhungu on September 16