Climate-Linked Disasters Disrupt Rail Operations in Kenya’s Coastal Area

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Flooding and landslides in Kenya’s coastal region have led to operational changes in the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) network, causing delays and a temporary halt in repair works after a staff member was killed.

The environmental impact of Kenya’s extensive railway project is also under scrutiny.

Heavy rains causing flooding and landslides in Kenya’s coastal region have disrupted cargo deliveries to and from the port city of Mombasa, leading to operational adjustments by Kenya Railways. The state-owned rail operator announced changes to Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) operations, including the closure of a section between Mombasa Terminus and Mariakani due to a landslide.

Repair works on the railway line at Kijabe were also halted after a tragic incident where one staff member lost their life to flash floods. Ten other staff members were safely rescued and evacuated for medical treatment.

Kenya’s ambitious railway project is facing scrutiny for its environmental impact, particularly in ecologically sensitive ecosystems. The construction and operation of the railways are cited as contributors to soil erosion, land degradation, flooding, habitat destruction, and disruptions to water bodies and wildlife movement.

The broader context of climate-related disasters in eastern Africa is emphasized, with flooding causing significant damage and displacements. In Kenya, recent floods have destroyed homes, farmland, and claimed lives, highlighting the escalating climate risks in the region.

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