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November 21, 2018

Protests as Kenha blocks Mlolongo road

Green Ville Gardens residents protest on Sunday /GEORGE OWITI
Green Ville Gardens residents protest on Sunday /GEORGE OWITI

 Mlolongo residents have accused the Kenya National Highways Authority and a contractor of blocking an access road.

The Green Ville Gardens estate dwellers demand that the road be opened to allow them to travel freely. They use the route to access Mombasa Road. On Sunday, they held protests against the blockade.

“Our children can’t go to school. We can’t access health services and garbage can’t be collected from our homes. We feel discriminated against as a community,” Green Ville Gardens Residents’ Association chairman Patrick Amunyunzu said.

He said their security has been compromised because police officers can no longer patrol the estate. Amunyunzu warned that criminals might take advantage of the situation to terrorise them.

The dwellers said water pipes to their homes have been disconnected and they have to rely on venders who charge high prices.

The contractor is building a service lane that joins Mlolongo and Athi River towns on the Mombasa Road. The firm has said the road will be opended once it has completed the section. But the residents promised more protests if no swift action is taken.  

Amunyunzu said more than 5,000 people had been denied access to their residences. 

“Most of us have found ourselves locked out with our vehicles. We can’t get out of our homes. Some vehicles are packed in Mlolongo town as they can’t be driven home due to the blockage,” he said.

“Most of us found the road blocked when we came from work on Friday. The contractor never gave us any notice that the road would be blocked.”

Amunyunzu said Kenha should have informed them before the construction began.

Yesterday, contractor Alphonse Mogetto said he was sorry for the inconvenience. He urged residents to use an alternative route for two to three weeks.

“The road is not passable because of the aggregate we’ve used.  Vehicles can no longer use it, but there is an alternative road,” Mogetto told the Star on the phone.

The residents said apologies will not end their suffering.

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