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December 14, 2018

Garissa farmers say sewer line causes fl ooding

Women wave twigs during a peaceful demonstration in Bulla Arghi on Tuesday where they accused the company building the Garissa town sewerage project of blocking waterways and causing fl oods on their farms / STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Women wave twigs during a peaceful demonstration in Bulla Arghi on Tuesday where they accused the company building the Garissa town sewerage project of blocking waterways and causing fl oods on their farms / STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Farmers have accused the company building the Garissa town sewer line of blocking waterways, diverting flood waters into their farms.

Five hundred farmers from Nasib,  Iftin, Bathiye, Gamadid, Somo, Jariroth and Korakor and Kholathey farms on Tuesday held peaceful demonstrations in Bulla Arghi. They said appeals to sove the problem have been ignored.

However, Garissa sewerage project phase 2 resident engineer Francis Kisilu said the company has been holding regular meetings with the farmers to ensure smooth running of the project.

“We have received these complaints and we have tried our best as a company to ensure that they are addressed,” Kisilu said.

Kisilu said when the company decided to raise the embankment of the sewerage plant, it foresaw flooding in nearby farms and decided to acquire morre than 700 acres of farmland around the plant to avoid destruction of crops.

“In our estimation, no farm will be affected because we have taken all remedial measures. But if there are still concerns out there, we are ready to sit down with them,” he said.

Farmer Aden Mohamed said they can no longer  access their farms because the roads have been destroyed by the excavator used on the job.

He said authorities have not helped much.

“Our farms and crops are being destroyed by floods that have been blocked by the new trenches that have been created,” Mohamed said.

He said farmers depend entirely on proceeds rom the farms to feed their families. He appealed to the county government to stop the works instead of making excuses.

Resident Dubo Mohamed said they would not sit down and watch “injustice” meted out to them.

“If nothing is done, we will  will have no other option but to take the law into our hands. We don’t want to go that route. That is why we are calling for negotiations,” he said.

The project was started to improve the hygiene of the town after residents complained.

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