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Court Lifts Stop Order on SGR construction

The Government of Kenya (GoK) through Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) have commenced construction for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Phase 2A from Nairobi South Station. The ongoing construction will cross over the Nairobi Park through the savannah region in an almost straight line along a 6km viaduct in a single-track way-leave. Then exit the park near the Nairobi Park’s Maasai Gate near Tuala area, from here it would turn west past Tuala market centre and proceed to Ongata Rongai Town, then cross Magadi Road through the Adventist University of Africa. It then proceeds through Nkoroi area and crosses Ngong Road at Ebulbul town before heading to a tunnel near Ebulbul in Ngong, then the Lusigetti tunnel and Kamangu tunnel. It then drops into the rift valley through Ewaso Kedong, Mai-Mahiu before connecting with the proposed Naivasha Industrial Park at Suswa, crossing through Oloshaiki near Duka Moja and terminate at Enosupukia in Narok County.

Okiya Omatatah Okoiti and Kenya Coalition for Conservation and Management filed a case [192 of 2016] at the National Environmental Tribunal (NET) September 19, 2016 challenging the irregular and illegal construction of the tunnel at Ebulbul areas, Ngong and approval of a route through the Nairobi National Park. A court order was issued till this matter is heard and determined. However, construction work continued without an EIA license from National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and subsequently, the President launched the SGR Phase 2A at the Ebulbul tunnel on September 26, 2016 while the court order was in place. This Tribunal delivered its ruling on the April 4, 2017 dismissing the appeal and lifted the stop orders against this development [Attached read the detailed ruling]. With the order lifted, it presupposes that ongoing work in the Park for SGR Phase 2A can proceed with any hindrance.

Okiya Omatatah Okoiti and Kenya Coalition for Conservation and Management filed another case [200 of 2017] at the National Environmental Tribunal (NET) on January 10, 2017 challenging the hurriedly issuance of EIA license by NEMA without any consultations and in total disregard of existing procedural and legal requirements as mandated and required by law. The case is ongoing. However, with the stop order of case 192 of 2016 lifted, the appealing moved to the Tribunal to seek another stop order which was granted. The order reads, TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that Section 129(4) of EMCA states that “upon any appeal to the Tribunal under this section, the status quo of any matter or activity, which is the subject of the appeal, shall be maintained until the appeal is determined”. The order directed all activities on relating to the appeal is question MUST be stopped until the appeal is heard and determined by the Tribunal. The stop order was granted on April 5, 2017 and Kenya Railways Corporation and Kenya Wildlife Service have been served with this new order [attached read the Tribunal order].

The Constitution of Kenya 2010, in the preamble states we the people of Kenya – RESPECTFUL of the environment, which is our heritage, and determined to sustain it for the benefit of future generations; and RECOGNISING the aspirations of all Kenyans for a government based on the essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. As an Alliance, we have the constitutional watchdog responsibility to ensure that our government, respect the rule of law. We will have no problem with SGR being built through the Park if the government commits itself to respect the rule of law.