Activists urge government to prioritize coast residents in SGR jobs

President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the first cargo train on the Standard Gauge Railway in Mombasa. PHOTO:

Mombasa,KENYA:Civil rights crusaders in Mombasa are urging the government to provide employment opportunities to Mombasa residents after the official opening of the Standard Gauge Railway  (SGR) in order to curb joblessness among the youth.

Speaking to Baraka fm on Wednesday, the executive director of Kenya Community Support Centre (KECOSCE) Phylis Muema lamented that the national government did not fully conduct environmental assessment before its implementation.

The executive said that the project destroyed the flora and fauna in the area where it went through adding that residents were not fully compensated on claims that it is a public utility.

“The government did not conduct environmental impact assessment be implanting the project. It destroyed the flora and fauna thus posing a negative impact to the public.” Muema said.

The official noted that the project is reserved for the wealthy in the society and does not take into consideration the rights of the underprivileged including people living with disabilities PWDS.

On the other hand Haki Africa project officer Francis Auma said joblessness is rife at the Coast and noted that something must be done to minimize the situation.

He however applauded the move but insisted that the government must develop a better employment strategy and offer the locals a first priority when it comes to employment opportunities.

“Joblessness is growing at a higher rate at the Coast. This calls for the government to do something on the same. It must come up with a good employment strategy and give locals a prime chance.” He said.

The standard gauge train made its first maiden trip from Mombasa to  Nairobi on Wednesday  with the president  and several dignitaries on board.