The Kenyan government is considering an alternative path for the new 472-kilometre standard gauge railway from the port city of Mombasa to the capital in order to have it skirt the Nairobi National Park, after conservationists expressed concern over the project’s adverse effects to wildlife.

The new route could, however, see the cost of the project run over by up to 70 billion Kenyan shillings ($691 million), according to Wilson Nyakera, the Principal Secretary in charge of transportation.
A 50-kilomtre stretch of the new railway as currently planned will traverse the national park, which prides itself in being the only wildlife park in a capital city in the world.

“Not passing through the park is one of the options, but it is a very expensive option,” the Star newspaper quoted Mr. Nyakera as saying.

He said the transportation ministry is in discussions with environment departments in the government, such as the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and other stakeholders in order to “have something that is agreeable.”

“We are sitting down to come up with a harmonised approach that can save Kenyans money both now and during operations. The railway will not go through the park before we are in agreement,” added.

See related story: Standard Gauge Railway to sever 80 hectares of Nairobi National Park .

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