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Chinese constructor of Standard Gauge Railway contributes to Kenyan communities

12 March 2015, 09:30

Nairobi - The 472 km Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has registered good progress at site since it kicked off in January this year, with its constructor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), undertaking many social responsibility projects.

Statistics show that a good number of Kenyans have joined the project. Taking Makueni County for example, over 3000 locals have been recruited for the construction of the SGR, ranging from unskilled ones to operators, lab technicians, engineers among others.

About 90% of the workers from the factories which produce sleepers and girders in Kathekani, Makueni are locals, said Julius Li, public relation officer from CRBC.

David Nyamai, headmaster of Matangini Primary School in Mangelete, thanked the Chinese company for its help to repair the broken facilities.

As is known, the school uses some temporary iron sheet houses mainly as the classrooms, which are full of stains and rust after years of use without repair. And the noise and dust produced by a quarry near the school disturb the teachers and pupils.

CRBC, therefore, contacted the school authority to develop a viable solution and reached a consensus with the local community: a new school funded by the company will be built soon.

Also read: Steady progress in Standard Gauge Railway construction: Chinese firm

Knowing that the Molemuni Middle School in Makueni wanted to turn itself from a day school into a boarding school to reduce its high dropout rates, the company brought some cement and timber that the school was in short of to build dormitories, donating some money to help improve its accommodation, which received high praise from the principal on behalf of all teachers and students.

Meanwhile, CRBC helped residents in Ulu village to improve the conditions of a 8.3 km rural road which lacked maintenance for years, providing financial support, technicians and equipment for the project.

Reports show that the Chinese company also donated to an orphanage in Mackinnin, built reservoirs to help residents save water for the dry season, drilled borehole in Mtito for residents, hospitals and institutions nearby, sent its crane to several accident scene at Mombasa Road to lift the overturned trucks, save the trapped drivers, even to rescue an injured elephant stuck in a mud pool.

In terms of environmental protection, a professional environment assessment company has been engaged for the SGR Project to guide all Site Offices in carrying out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), ensuring the activities are eco-friendly during the construction phase of the new railway line.

According to CRBC, any supplier failing to meet the environmental standard or damaging water resources will be dismissed from cooperation.

"The local people support the project, and in return, we will do our best to contribute to local counties and communities," said Julius.

During an inspection tour of the trial section of the SGR at Mtito Andei in January, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that the SGR project will raise Kenya's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 1.5 percent annually when completed.

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- Xinhua


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