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February 16, 2019

Nyeri residents demonstrate over poor state of town road

 A resident erects a banana stem on the road/Eutycas Muchiri
A resident erects a banana stem on the road/Eutycas Muchiri

Nyeri town residents and matatu operators yesterday protested over the poor state of Baden Powell Road.

The demonstrators lit bonfires and planted banana and sugarcane stems along the road, which neighbours the county’s department of Agriculture offices. It is full of potholes.

The protesters, who also included boda boda riders and taxi operators, disrupted businesses along the road for the better part of morning hours.

The protests started after a vehicle, among the many, broke down along the 500-meter stretch

Joseph Mbau, a taxi driver, said the road has been in a bad state for the last three years.

“Leaders have been promising us the road will be repaired but that has not materialised. We do not know whether the road belongs to the county or the national government,” he said.

“We expected that the county government would have helped us lobby to have the road done as it neighbours some of its departmental offices,” he said.

confusion

Mbau criticised area leaders for rushing to the media to articulate their achievements yet no one speaks or does anything about the road.

“We have planted bananas and sugarcane along the road because it looks like a shamba. Let the Agriculture department that is next to the road have something to keep it busy,” Mbau said.

Joseph Rua said the state of the road has been worsening, especially after it rains.

He warned they will disrupt business in the entire town if the road will not be repaired in a month.

“We will hold demonstrations and camp in all offices concerned until the road is done”.

He called on the area MP Ngunjiri Wambugu to intervene and have the road done.

“We are going to close this road altogether and plant food crops here so that they can notice our seriousness,” he said.

Contacted for comment, Ngunjiri said they are pushing for the road to be done.

“Part of the problem has been the agency under which the road falls.There was confusion whether it’s a Kerra [Kenya Rural Roads Authority], Kura [Kenya Urban Roads Authority] or a county road. My office has been told it’s a county road,” Ngunjiri said.

“However, the governor told me it’s a Kura road and that the regional engineer has confirmed works would start in February.”

The county director of communication Carol Nderi in a message to the media confirmed the road belongs to Kura.

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