Save the railway is a project that aims to create public awareness on the Kenya-Uganda railway and the huge role it played in shaping Kenya as we know it today.
It also aims to sensitise the need and urgency to preserve and rehabilitate railway stations within the country. Railway stations which are currently wasting away and risk being completely forgotten if nothing is done to preserve them.
How it all begun….
Well it all started when I visited the railway station in Voi. Initially , I had wanted to write a brief history of Voi town. Since the town grew as a result of the railway station, I figured that was probably the best place to start. Packed with a camera and my trusted sidekick notebook I went there one fine Saturday afternoon. I was absolutely amazed by the simplicity and the antique beauty of the place (the photos are here). I tried to find out as much information as I could about the history of the town and the railway station in particular but this proved terribly futile.There are barely any staff present and there is no semblance of record keeping or historical/cultural appreciation within the station.Maintenance is poor and mismanagement clear. After taking the photos and obtaining scanty bits of information from the staff I found there( who by the way were very cooperative, thank you Albert and company). I went back to school half mesmerized, half disappointed, at the state of the station. I later on realized that it’s not just Voi railway station that’s in that state,it’s several other stations in the country .
There you have it, that was my inspiration for this project……
I believe that the railway is a core part of our history as a country.Some of these structures have survived for a hundred years plus, it is not a guarantee that they will survive for another hundred years.Our efforts must be directed towards the preservation and appreciation of our culture.Turning some of the stations into museums/heritage sites would not only boost tourism but also create employment opportunities, among many other advantages.
What I am currently doing…..
I have currently written to Kenya Railways stating the urgency to rehabilitate the railway stations and should be expecting a reply any time soon. In the mean time I’m still doing my research on the railway and have compiled quite a number of stories and articles that you guys can read. 🙂
Why I’m doing it …..
I could go on and on and on about how important it is to appreciate our history and culture but in as much as that is a reason why I started this project, the main reason is quite simple. Millions of people were involved in the building and formation of this magnificent structure. Every heroic story need heroes.The people involved in the railway’s story are in more ways than one , real heroes. (I know you’re thinking okay Chao so why exactly are you doing it?) I started this project because I know that If I worked so hard to build/make something I would like someone to appreciate and preserve my work even after I’m gone. I’ll keep you guys updated as the days go by, Let’s make this happen.. Thank you.
“….For the next 100 years and more the railway would serve several generations of men. It would draw people towards it; it would watch cities grow around it. But above all else, it would be a testimony to human grandeur. And remain living proof that once men have set their minds to something, no obstacle is too huge to overcome. Anything is possible.”