Chinese diplomat hails Kenya's SGR workers for tireless efforts

NAIROBI, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese diplomat on Monday hailed the employees of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) for their tireless efforts and for working during the Chinese National day to ensure seamless operations of the railway.

Li Xuhang, charge d'affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, told Xinhua in Nairobi that the Chinese National Day that is celebrated on Oct. 1 is one of the most important holidays in China.


"I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication shown by Chinese workers who are working over the holidays," Li said during a tour of the Nairobi Terminus of the SGR.


"In the Chinese culture, we value devotion to work and that is why I came to the SGR station to salute workers and also support them," he added.


The 480-km Nairobi to Mombasa SGR was financed 90 percent by the Export-Import Bank of China and constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). In 2017, CRBC signed an agreement with the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) to run the Mombasa to Nairobi SGR.


Li added that the hard work and dedication of SGR employees will help enhance the Sino-Kenya cooperation as well as socio-economic development in Kenya.


The envoy said that Chinese nationals have sacrificed their public holidays for the safety and operations of the SGR.


Felix Asuma, the general affairs workshop supervisor at the track department of the SGR, said normal operations will continue at the SGR despite the Chinese National Day, being one of the biggest holidays in China.


Asuma's role along the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is to ensure that the railway track is in good condition without any obstructions.


The 27-year-old monitors the railway track from Mombasa to Nairobi with a team of patrol workers using video surveillance.


Asuma said both Chinese and Kenyan workers are working over the Chinese National Day to ensure that Kenyan passengers enjoy smooth operations.


The civil engineer, who completed his undergraduate studies at Southwest Jiaotong University in 2016, said Kenyan colleagues are adopting the strong Chinese work ethic to ensure that the SGR operates smoothly.


Harrison Kimani who is part of the comprehensive management staff at the dispatch center said operations will continue as scheduled even over the Chinese National day which is celebrated over a period of seven days.


"We are working closely with Chinese counterparts to provide uninterrupted service to railway commuters and freight owners," Kimani told Xinhua.


Kimani, who studied Chinese language and culture at the Shandong Normal University said that the SGR is now a critical part of Kenya's infrastructure which will help improve transportation of passengers and freight between Mombasa and Nairobi.

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