Covid sees SGR total revenue decline 22pc to Kshs. 11.4B

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) registered a 22.9% drop in revenue which declined to Kshs. 11.4 billion last year compared to Kshs. 14.7 billion the railway earned in 2020.

The drop is on account of reduced revenues from freight and passengers services occasioned by coronavirus pandemic.

SGR recorded a 19.2% drop in freight revenue which declined to Kshs. 10.5 billion last year from Kshs. 13 billion in 2019.

The drop in despite a 4.8% rise in cargo transported through the railway which decreased to 4.4 million tones during the period under review from 4.2 million in 2019.

“Restriction on mobility instituted by the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 dampened the sectors growth during the review period,” stated the Economic Survey 2021 released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.


Passenger traffic on SGR also took a beating a result of the coronavirus pandemic during the period under review.

Cession of movement declared in Nairobi and Mombasa, the most significant SGR links in the second half of last year as well as dusk to dawn curfew saw the number of passengers using the railway decline by almost half to 812,000 in 2020 from 1.6 million a year earlier.

Revenues also fell by a whooping 47.1% to Kshs. 896 million from Kshs. 1.7 billion according to KNBS data.

“This decline was largely attributed to the suspension of SGR passenger rail services from April to May 2020 due to measures instituted by the Government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

On the other hand, the volume of cargo transported through the Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) dropped by 5.8% to 628,000 tonnes in 2020 from 667,000.

Nonetheless revenue earned from MGR cargo stream rose by 15.7% to Kshs.1.1 billion in 2020.

Cumulatively, earnings from SGR and MGR passenger traffic dropped to Kshs. 978 million in 2020 compared to Kshs. 1.9 billion in 2019.

Similarly, freight earnings decreased significantly from Kshs. 14 billion in 2019 to Kshs. 11.6 billion in 2020.


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