Encroachers Face Eviction To Pave Way For Rail Line Upgrade
People who have encroached on railway land in Busia have been asked to move as the government readies to renovate and modernise the metre-gauge line.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Kenya Medical Training College, Teso campus, Busia County Commissioner John Korir advised encroachers to vacate voluntarily to avoid forcible eviction. He said vacation notices were issued in 2020, adding those claiming not to have received cautionary decrees are “mere sympathy seekers”.
“Those claiming they have not been issued with the notices, we will move you. Anyone who has encroached on railway land must move or be moved,” he warned.
Modernisation of the railway line that runs from the Port of Mombasa to Malaba is part of the government’s bigger agenda to decongest both the roads and port to enhance regional trade.
“Cargo trucks (on northern transport corridor) are jammed in queues stretching tens of kilometres. Once the railway line becomes operational, the long queues you are seeing now will cease,” Korir said.
Kenya Railways corporation has been on an exercise to reclaim its land with demolitions witnessed in Nakuru, Kisumu, Turbo and Bungoma to clear the ground for the upgrading of the line between Longonot and Malaba, and Nakuru to Kisumu.
“If you go and build a home on someone else’s land and they let you live there for a year or two, that does not give you ownership of the land. When the owner needs to use the land, you must move because it is not yours,” Korir added.
The upgrade is set to increase the capacity of the line and boost the efficiency of cargo transportation in the region.
According to stakeholders, revamping the railway line will ease transportation of cargo from the dry port in Naivasha to Uganda via Malaba and from Naivasha to Kisumu where the cargo will then be moved to Uganda through Lake Victoria.