Residents protest ‘to stall road works’

The ongoing expansion of the Westlands-Limuru road hangs in the balance after irate residents from three villages in Mai Mahiu stormed the contractor’s site accusing him of malpractices.

Residents of Gathima, Laare and Nairobi Ndogo villages vowed not to allow the Chinese contractor from collecting raw materials from the area as he was using explosives that have destroyed houses worth millions of shillings.

During a protest, the residents blocked the road leading to the quarry for hours vowing that no operation would continue until their grievances were addressed.

They said since the contractor arrived in the area, they have been incurring losses caused by flying debris from the quarry.

Village elder Gideon Njoroge said they have raised the issue with the contractor who has remained uncooperative by insulting them.

Njoroge said more than 100 lorries drive into the quarry every day adding that the contractor had failed to sprinkle water on the roads to reduce dust as had been agreed.

“We have been forced to abandon our daily activities due to dust from these lorries and we call on the government to rein him in or else we will destroy the machines that have been put at the quarry,” he said.

He said women and children have been the most affected with most of them suffering from chest related complications.

“Some of the drivers of these lorries are Chinese and it is hard to communicate with them. The only way we can do it is by blocking this road so that they can come and discuss with us on how best to protect the environment,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Cecilia Wangari, a villager, who said she had been forced to abandon her house due to cracks caused by the explosives.

Mai Mahiu Assistant county commissioner Julius Nyaga who addressed the residents called for calm as they sought a lasting solution to the problem.

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