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September 21, 2017

Naivasha youths storm SGR project site, say no jobs for them

"One of the sites is at Satellite area while the other neighbours Suswa trading center." /MONICAH MWANGI
"One of the sites is at Satellite area while the other neighbours Suswa trading center." /MONICAH MWANGI

Youths on Wednesday stormed the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) site in Naivasha demanding jobs.

They invaded the contractor's offices in Mai Mahiu paralysing operations.

Anti-riot police officers from the nearby police station had to intervene when the youths attempted to block Mai Mahiu-Narok road.

The lot said they were promised jobs when the contractor set up two sites for SGR extension from Nairobi to Naivasha.

Lanikoni ole Kasimel, one of the protesters, said they had been flocking the area for jobs only to be told to wait yet work is on.

One of the sites is at Satellite area while the other neighbours Suswa trading center.

"The President was categorical that when works begin, local youths should be given job opportunities," Kasimel said.

He claimed the Chinese contractor involved in the construction has, on many occasions, warned them that police will be called to disperse them should they push for the slots.

His comments were supported by John Mwangi who accused the contractor of bringing youths from other areas to work at the site.

Naivasha deputy county commissioner Isaac Masinde called on the youths to be patient and maintain peace.

Masinde said works had not begun in the area and that the contractor was in the process of preparing equipment.

"The route has not been gazetted. Once it is done within the next one month, we will inform the youths so they can apply just as we have done in other projects."

Masinde said once the route is mapped, the National Land Commission will move in to compensate those affected.

"We held a meeting earlier in the week with officials of the commission who have agreed to move with speed and identify affected farmers."

"They will be paid for land which will be taken up by the railway," he said.

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