Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has sounded a warning to individuals who have encroached on its land along the Eldoret-Malaba railway line to vacate immediately to allow for its rehabilitation.
The National government through the Corporation is in the process of rehabilitating the metre gauge railway line from Longonot to Malaba along the Kenya- Uganda border.
Speaking in Eldoret during an inspection tour of the old metre gauge railway line, Kenya Railways Corporation board chairman Major retired Pator Awita said it was unfortunate that people had encroached on the parastatal’s land, adding they plan to rehabilitate the railway network to ease transportation of goods and services
The chair said they had issued notices to residents who have constructed buildings on the land to pull them down and those who have crops to start harvesting them before the multi-million-shilling work starts.
“We are asking all those with buildings to remove them and those who farm on the railway corridor are advised to harvest their crops failure to which we will pull down the structures and have the maize slashed down,” he warned.
He regretted that some of the encroachers had constructed permanent houses on the public land while others were practicing dairy and poultry farming unabated
“We are going to hire the services of unemployed youths to help flatten down several houses and business premises that have been constructed on the railways land”, said the chairman.
Awita said the move to direct all encroachers to vacate was intended to pave way for speedy rehabilitation of the old Eldoret-Malaba railway line that has remained dormant for over three decades.
According to Awiti the project will be implemented by the Kenya Railways engineers, National youth services servicemen backed by local youth and women in an exercise that will take between seven and eight months.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago welcomed the initiative to rehabilitate the railway line saying that it will help create employment opportunities for the local residents and, revive the once vibrant trading centres that stretch from Eldoret-Webuye towns all the way to Busia border.
Mandago also appealed to the national government to consider expanding the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the northern corridor because of the volume of trade the region has with Uganda.
By Kiptanui Cherono