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Funding Delays Kenya-Uganda Railway Expansion :: Uganda Radionetwork

Funding Delays Kenya-Uganda Railway Expansion

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Rift Valley Railways (RVR), a Private consortium managing the railway line between Kenya and Uganda has said that a delay of the $64-million in funding is preventing them from meeting their targets for upgrading the 110-year old service.

The $64-million loan was expected from the International Finance Corporation and the German KfW.

Rift Valley Railways (RVR) won a concession to run the Kenya and Uganda railways jointly for 25 years from November 2006. It is led by South Africa's Sheltam Trade Close.

Roy Puffett, RVR's managing director told reporters in Nairobi that Funding should have started flowing last year, but the delay has been a main obstacle as to meeting our targets.

The company plans to make the railway line a major artery for regional trade but has to contend with a lack of locomotives, wagons and dilapidated tracks.

Puffett said ethnic clashes that followed Kenya's 2007 disputed election had led to a disruption of services after parts of the railway in Kenya leading to Uganda were vandalized.

Years of mismanagement in Kenya and civil strife in Uganda have meant their respective governments have struggled to buy spare parts and maintain tracks and trains.

The 1,900km line that helped open up the continent was laid a century ago and was dubbed the "Lunatic Express".

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