Uganda will officially commence the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway Project next month following the agreement between Ministry of finance and the Exim Bank China to fund the project.

The directors say Uganda will commence with the Eastern Route (Malaba to Kampala) with an estimated distance of 273KM.

Her counterpart Kenya has already started works and will connect with Uganda at the Malaba boarder.

Although Uganda’s major challenge was land acquisition and funds to start the project, the directors are optimistic works will start next financial year with a week left.

The much anticipated two railway systems will drastically improve the transport situation in the country and reduce the transportation costs and transit time spent currently at 70%.

According to the project manager Kasingye Kyamugambi, the design for the Eastern route is complete and contractors signed the deal.

Kyamugambi notes that since 2016 pre-construction activities have been on-going including engaging the private sector to ensure as much local content and resources is incorporated.

Also compensation of the affected families has been on-going in Tororo and Butaleja Districts.

Uganda expects to save an estimated USD 1.5 billion annually once the transport system is complete and also reduce the huge investment on the road sector.

The current Kampala Railway Station is being re-designed into a multi-model transport hub where the SGR international passenger station will be located as well as the Light Rail interchange hub.

Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan signed a deal under the Regional Standard Gauge Railway Protocol to develop a modern and efficient railway transport.