Esther Koimett, principal secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, speaks during the launch of a corporate social responsibility report released by the Kenya Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project under the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 19, 2019. Kenya on Thursday lauded China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the contractor of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) for the social responsibilities it has carried out for local communities living along its transport corridor. (Xinhua/Li Yan)
NAIROBI, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday lauded China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the contractor of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) for the social responsibilities it has carried out for local communities living along its transport corridor.
Esther Koimett, principal secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said that the corporate social responsibility ethos embraced by the Chinese firm have transformed lives of communities in line with UN 2030 goals.
"We appreciate CCCC for having the heart of wanting to assist communities through their various social projects," Koimett said during the launch of the fourth edition of the corporate social responsibility report released by the Kenya SGR project under the CCCC for the period between January 2018 and October 2019.
She said that CCCC has already demonstrated greater capability in Kenya's infrastructure space by delivering projects on time and on budget.
"Now we are also pleased with the impact created by the social projects of CCCC especially for communities where the railway line transverses," said Koimett.
Wu Peng, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, said that the CCCC has been a partner and supporter of Kenya to help achieve sustainable development.
He said that in the future, China and Kenya partnership will unleash mutual benefits.
Wu said the impact of Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha SGR on Kenya's economy has been tremendous but the social impact on local communities of the SGR contractor has been equally profound.
He urged Chinese firms operating in Kenya to ensure that their activities are in the interest of the people of both countries.
David Pkosing, chairperson of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, said that the SGR is by the far the single largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Kenya.
He said that the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects undertaken by CCCC, in the area of provision of water, health and education services represent the immediate benefits to the communities living along the SGR corridor.
"These projects have helped to educate the locals on the benefits of the SGR and has ensured local ownership of the railway network," said Wu.
Lu Shan, chairman of China Road and Bridge Coporation (CRBC), a subsidiary of CCCC, said that his organization has always prioritized social responsibility, by improving water facilities for local residents, providing free medical services, building schools, and participating in emergency relief and has so far organized more than 200 CSR programs.
"From construction to operation of the SGR, we have always adhered to the philosophy of sustainable development and shared prosperity. We are committed to becoming the vital stakeholder of government and economic and social development, a deep participant of regional economic development, and a quality provider of government procurement of public service," Lu said.
Ereteti Primary School, located approximately 120 km northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi is also a beneficiary of the SGR CSR activities.
Francis Kasha Meoli, the school's head teacher said the learning facility, which is approximately 500 meters from the SGR railway line, has received major support from CCCC.
"CCCC constructed new tuition and administration buildings which has now upgraded our school from a feeder school and now our students can progress up to standard eight and sit for national examinations without the need to transfer to another school," said Meoli.
He said that student enrollment has risen from 78 to over 200 thanks to support from the SGR contractor.
Agatha Naini, a teacher at Oloitip Primary School located in southwestern Kenyan county of Narok said that the SGR project has become a blessing to the local community.
"In 2018, we benefited from a free medical camp organized by CCCC where residents were screened for various illness by both Kenyan and Chinese doctors," said Naini.
She said that given the school is only 500 meters from the SGR commuter train station, students can use it to commute between the school and their homes.
Naini said that teaching of social studies has become easier as the learners have a first-hand experience of modern railway infrastructure in Kenya.