ENCROACHMENT

Kiambu residents protest over road eating schools, church land

The institutions will lose more than an acre of land to the Wangige iInter-change

In Summary
  • Land where the schools and the church sit was bough by parents and well-wishers at Sh8, 750 in 1938
  • Gitaru- Wangige- Ndenderu Road, which was built in 1974, also took away a huge part of the school's playing field
The ongoing roadworks along the Wangige stretch interchange. The Western Bypass will complete the city's Ringroad.
FLAGSHIP DEBT: The ongoing roadworks along the Wangige stretch interchange. The Western Bypass will complete the city's Ringroad.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Some Kiambu residents have sought the intervention of the Senate over a road project that will encroach on the land of two public schools and a church.

The petitioners told the Senate Roads Committee on Tuesday that the institutions will lose more than an acre to the Wangige inter-change on the Western Bypass.

They said the project will affect “iconic institutions" namely Wangige Primary School, Wangige High School and St Peters Church Ndunyu.

“Of great concern is that the land where the schools and the church sit was bought by parents and wellwishers at Sh8, 750 in 1938, which was then a lot of money and of great value,” they said in the petition.

“The existing Gitaru- Wangige- Ndenderu Road, which was built in 1974, also took away a huge part of the school's playing field,” they note. 

Mwaura Wandungi, speaking on behalf of the petitioners, said they have unsuccessfully pushed for the redesigning of the project or compensation from Kenya National Highways Authority since the institutions lack title deeds.

“The President talked about all public schools getting title deeds but we have none to date. This has hampered all out efforts to seek compensation,” he stated.

He added that China Roads and Bridge Corporation has not indicated whether it would reciprocate by, for example, digging a borehole, building a wall and an overpass for the learners or putting up a laboratory for the high school.

Peter Njoroge said residents has had a meeting with KeNHA officials but nothing is forthcoming.

Committee chair Kimani Wamatangi said Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia will be summoned to appear before members to shed more light on the matter.

“We will have a meeting with the Roads [Transport] CS within two weeks to find a way forward. I can assure you that we will deal with the matter appropriately. Just be patient,” Wamatangi said. 

The senator, who is also represents the county, further said the committee will tour the area in the coming days to have a clear picture of the situation on the ground.

The residents maintained  the institutions are great value to learners, parents, worshipers and the entire community and should therefore be preserved.

“The law is very clear that public learning institutions, health and faith- based organisations ought to be preserved for the citizens”

“We are in support of the construction of the western bypass but we find the revised redesign impacting negatively on Wangige Primary School, Wangige High School, and the sponsor ACK St Peters Church, Ndunyu,” Njoroge stated.

He added that the project design is new and different from the one that was availed in 2017, which did not interfere with the schools and church infrastructure

The residents said they have made the best efforts to settle the issue with the relevant authorities, all of which have failed to give satisfactory responses.

Edited by EKibii