The Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya (ACEK) on Thursday 25th July hosted the Managing Director of Kenya Railways Mr. Atanas Maina at the Railways club for ACEK Chairman’s cocktail, to give a talk to members and interested engineers on the progress and opportunities for engineers in the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) Project. To assist the MD from Kenya Railways were Eng. Maxwell Mengich the Project Manager SGR and Eng. Solomon Ouna the SGR project advisor.
Giving the Keynote speech the Managing Director observed that members of the association had stood with Kenya railways all through the development of the Standard gauge Railway project. He appreciated the different members who had defended the project and explained the expected impact to the Kenya public. He admitted to enjoy working with and learning a lot from engineers in the course of working on this project. Mr. Maina however encouraged engineers to set up as contractors to take advantage of the opportunities arising from such projects. He noted that some of the contractors awarded contracts before did shoddy work some not even being able to finish the works apportioned to them.
The Chairman of ACEK Eng. J M Matu observed that the opportunities for engineers arising from the construction of the SGR were boundless. The presentation prepared for the occasion by Kenya Railways was presented by Eng. Solomon Ouna. “The railway line starts at the Port city of Mombasa on the shores of the Indian Ocean and runs along the Northern corridor through Nairobi, Kisumu to Malaba.” He said. Eng. Ouna observed that the railways projects were numerous and immense and as a country we are just starting off.
As at now Kenya Railways and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) have signed four Commercial Contracts for the development of the four elements of the Naivasha – Malaba section of the project namely: Naivasha– Kisumu SGR line; Kisumu –Malaba SGR line; Kisumu Port development; and Modernization and expansion of the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi in Nairobi. In his presentation Eng. Ouna showed that the railway line starts at the Port city of Mombasa on the shores of the Indian Ocean and runs along the Northern corridor through Nairobi, Kisumu to Malaba. The first phase of the Standard Gauge Railaway line traverses Kwale, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Machakos and Kajiado from Mombasa and culminates in Nairobi. The second phase will traverse Naivasha, Narok, Bomet, Nyamira, Kisumu, Yala, Mumias to Malaba.
In phase one Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group, Apec Consortium Limited and Edon Consultants International making up the TSDI/APEC/EDON Consortium is charged with undertaking design review and construction supervision of the contracts to ensure the quality standards are met. APEC and EDON are local firms. The engineers present were challenged to create an Association for Railway Engineers in Kenya to oversee the development of railways in the country.