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January 20, 2019

Kikuyu residents to close down Southern Bypass

Kikuyu town ward MCA Binary Wainaina points at a pit latrine in Thirime village in Kiambu county that was nearly swept away by rain water on Monday.Photo/George Mugo
Kikuyu town ward MCA Binary Wainaina points at a pit latrine in Thirime village in Kiambu county that was nearly swept away by rain water on Monday.Photo/George Mugo

Residents of Kikuyu town ward in Kiambu are planning to close the newly constructed Southern Bypass for several days, to construct their own water drainages.

They claim the China Road and Bridge Company diverted rain water to Kiawamagira, Thirime, Dagoretti market, and parts of Thogoto village.

Speaking at Kiawamagira village on Tuesday, area MCA Binary Wainaina said the highway, which connects Nairobi-Nakuru highway at Gitaru and Mombasa road, passes on the higher side of those villages.

“All these villages lie at the low areas, while the highway is on the higher side. Residents receive all the water drawn by the road in big masses” he said.

The MCA revealed he has been writing protest letters to CRBC and Kenha to divert the drainages to river Nyongara, since that is where the rain waters had been flowing before the bypass was constructed.

Maryann Wanjiru, a resident, said her maize and bean plantation, houses, and vehicles were swept away, while huge gullies were left in their farms.

“A lot of sandy soil was brought from the highway and inside our houses and farms. Some pit latrines were filled up with water, which is now flowing” she said.

Residents allege before the road was constructed, a little amount of rain water flowed in the villages but when the bypass was constructed, the amount of water increased.

Both the market and slaughterhouse in Dagoretti were flooded, and a lot of soil was left inside the facilities, putting residents at risk of contracting water borne diseases.

“Our private and public toilets are full of water which is now flowing outside. This is a risk to water borne diseases. The government must come up with a lasting solution to all this” Wanjiru said.

Kevin Waweru whose sheep were killed by the water, said he was lobbying residents to raise funds to block the highway and construct their own water drainages. The drainages will divert water to River Nyongara.

He said residents have given the CRBC and the Kenya National Highway Authority a seven-day ultimatum to construct water drainages, before they make their own with available material.

He threatened that, if they are stopped by the government, they will sue the CRBC and Kenha so that they can compensate them for damages incurred.

Residents intend to close the highway at Thogoto next to Kiamburi village, near the Dagoretti slaughter house, to construct barriers using stones, cement, and iron bars.

Kikuyu MCA assured residents of his support, saying “they are not aiming at destroying, but to control the flow of water and eradicate the fear of death, and destruction of their property”.

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