Kenya Railways resumes commuter services on selected routes

The Nairobi terminus at Syokimau. Kenya Railways has suspended all commuter train services due to ongoing flooding in various parts of Nairobi, leaving thousands of city dwellers stranded.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

The Kenya Railways Corporation has announced the partial resumption of commuter train services after they were suspended due to incessant heavy rains across the country.

In a statement on Monday evening, Kenya Railways said commuters can expect the resumption of services on the Embakasi Village to Lukenya route as well as the SGR Link train to Syokimau.

“We are pleased to inform the public that commuter train services will resume Tomorrow, Tuesday, 7th of May 2024, on the following routes: Embakasi Village, Lukenya, The SGR Link train and Syokimau,” the statement read in part.

However, the Limuru and Ruiru routes remain suspended due to ongoing repairs to the railway lines following heavy rains.

“Please note that commuter services for Limuru and Ruiru remain suspended due to ongoing track repair works on those lines. We also wish to advise the public that commuter train services are subject to change at short notice, depending on weather conditions and other safety considerations,” it added.

Last month, Kenya Railways suspended all commuter train services due to flooding in various parts of Nairobi, leaving thousands of city dwellers stranded.

In a public notice, the operator said it had been forced to suspend operations from Nairobi Central Railway Station as large sections of the track remain under water.

Heavy rains in various parts of the country have continued to disrupt traffic on key routes, including major highways and even airports.

Excessive rainfall

The excessive rainfall has caused rivers and sewers to overflow, turning roads into waterways and destroying homes.

As of Sunday, more than 228 people had died as a result of the floods, with thousands more injured and others displaced from their homes.

This comes as the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) warned of heavy rains in many parts of the country in the coming days, as the government stepped up humanitarian operations to minimise the loss of life.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said more than 227,238 people have been affected by flooding across the country since March, when heavy rains linked to El Niño began.

In addition, 72 people remain missing in various incidents across the country and 42,526 households have been displaced, affecting some 212,630 people.

On Friday, President William Ruto warned during his national address that the reopening of schools would be postponed until further notice.

Schools were due to reopen on Monday May 6, after the original date of April 29 was pushed back.

The Ministry of Interior highlighted severe impacts in Marsabit, Tharaka Nithi, Baringo, Kisumu, Nakuru, Machakos, Uasin Gishu, Busia, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Trans Nzoia, Nairobi, Wajir, Mandera, Bomet, Kajiado, Embu and Nyeri counties.

The government on Sunday reiterated the urgency for people living along riverbanks and other waterways to leave immediately to avert disaster.

Logistical support will be provided to facilitate the evacuation of settlements in 33 high-risk counties with 178 vulnerable dams and water reservoirs.

“A nationwide assessment identified 192 high-risk dams, with Central (60), Eastern (39), Rift Valley (29), Coast (22), Western (21), Nairobi (12), North Eastern (5), and Nyanza (4),” the ministry said.