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December 14, 2018

Traders count losses in Garissa demolitions

Partly demolished Getune Primary School in Garissa. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Partly demolished Getune Primary School in Garissa. /STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa town businessmen are complaining about the demolition of structures encroaching on the Kismayu road reserve.

The Kenya National Highways Authority yesterday started pulling down buildings. It demolished or partly brought down hotels, electrical shops, kiosks, car wash businesses, eateries and retail shops.

Traders who were alerted of the demolition that started at about 3 am rushed to salvage property but it was too late for some.

Several police officers guarded the bulldozer that was bringing down perimeter walls, parts of buildings and structures along the busy road.

Power supply to buildings along and adjacent to the road reserve was disrupted during the demolition.

The county commissioner’s compound was among those affected. KeNHA issued a notice two months ago to all business people who have erected buildings on the road reserve. They were told to bring them down but some ignored it.

The demolition is expected to extend to Modikam about 10km from Garissa town. The bulldozer attacked Getune Primary School, bringing down the gate and part of the building.

Proprietors who were interviewed said the exercise was done selectively as other premises along the same reserve were left out. Mohamud Maalim who owns a petrol station said his water reservoir was destroyed “yet it was not near the road reserve”.

Hassan Abdinoor, an elder, said the expansion of the town was long overdue because estates cannot be accessed in emergencies. He urged KeNHA to carry on and bring order to one of the fastest growing towns in the country.

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