Protest targets rail line over Kenya’s oldest wildlife park

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Angry protesters marched in Kenya’s capital on Friday against plans to build an elevated railway line over the country’s oldest national park.

The Chinese project would cross six kilometers of Nairobi National Park.

Dozens of conservationists and others carried banners saying “Don’t rape our park.”

World-renowned paleontologist Richard Leakey, the current chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service, has said the elevated railway will not harm animals, but environmental and other groups have vowed to fight the plan.

“It’s our heritage,” said Nkamunu Patita, a community activist.

The chairman of a coalition for wildlife conservation handed the director of the Kenya Wildlife Service a petition demanding an alternative route for the railway line.

The director, Kitili Mbathi, said he welcomes “alternative proposals.”

The railway line would be built by China Communications Construction Company Limited and the China Road and Bridge Corporation.

Before construction can proceed, the Kenya Railway Corporation must secure the agreement of the National Environment Management Authority. An environmental and social impact assessment is needed.


This version has been corrected to show the name of the activist as Nkamunu Patita.

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