FIRE GUTS SHANTIES

Kiambu to upgrade Thika's Kiandutu slums

Deputy Governor Nyoro says county mobilising for funds to rehabilitate drainage and build roads

In Summary

Nyoro donates bedding and foodstuffs to victims

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro
PLANS UNDERWAY: Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro
Image: JOHN KAMAU

 

Kiambu county is planning a facelift of the expansive Kiandutu slums in Thika town, Deputy Governor James Nyoro has said.

Sitting on a 100-acre land with a population of slightly over 30,000 residents, the slum is grappling with poor drainage, deplorable access roads, uncollected heaps of garbage and overflowing lavatories.

Nyoro said the county government was looking for resources to begin major rehabilitation works in the slum next year.

“We know the situation here is very wanting especially during this rainy season and plans are already underway to have major works on the drainage, roads, toilets and garbage collection by mid next year. Kiandutu will have a new look,” Nyoro said.

He spoke when he visited the area on Monday following a fire outbreak that burnt down shanties and left 60 people in the cold. Nyoro donated beddings and foodstuffs to the victims.

Residents led by Stanley Njuguna had petitioned the county government to address the problems in the slums.

Njuguna said the fire that gutted over 50 homes on Friday could have been contained if there were proper access roads.

He said they were living in fear of an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid due to the poor drainage in the slum.

“There’s no drainage system in Kiandutu slums and currently almost the entire village is flooded. The situation has been worsened by the toilets which are full, some are overflowing. It’s not long before we hear of an outbreak of diseases. We are pleading for help,” Njuguna said.

“We have children and they are at greater risk of contracting diseases because they are playing and wading through the dirty and contaminated water.”

Njuguna said residents felt they had been abandoned by the county government after garbage collection was stopped.

“Recently, I mobilised youths who have been collecting garbage and dumping at Kang’oki but what we can collect is too little,” he said.

Nyoro said county engineers will be deployed in the slum to map out areas where the drainage system will be installed and identify new sites where lavatories will be put up.

“I will see to it that in six months' time, Kiandutu will have a new look,” Nyoro said.

The deputy governor said youths from the slum will be considered for menial jobs by the county government to reduce alcohol and drug abuse among young people.

 

edited by p. obuya