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Sotik leaders on the spot as residents protest bad roads

Sunday January 19 2020

Sotik road protests

Residents of Sotik, Bomet County, block Chebole-Chebango-Kipketii road in a demonstration against its dilapidated state, January 18, 2019. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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For the third day in a row, residents of Sotik Constituency, Bomet County, took the streets on Sunday in a protest against dilapidated roads.

They barricaded Chebole-Chebango-Kipketii road, which has been impassable for the last two months, using thorns, boulders and wood planks.

An administrator, who did not want to be named, said police were sent to break up the protests as the people did not obtain a permit and were causing disturbances.

No arrests were made and the demonstrators retreated, but it was said that they would regroup later.

HUGE LOSSES

The protesters' leaders, Bernard Kipruto and Edwin Kirui, said business people have incurred high costs in use of alternative modes of transport.

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"Residents have been unable to ferry farm produce including potatoes, milk and tea leaves to the market in good time due to the poor state of the road," said Mr Kirui.

Mr Kipruto said they presented their case to MP Dominic Koskei but that no action had been taken.

Lorries ferrying farm produce frequently get stuck on the road, especially during the rain season, leaving owners with damages that require large amounts of money to undo.

Matatu operators said potholes have resulted in accidents.

NO ACTION

Residents Vincent Koskei and Titus Kiprandich said the road was last repaired more than five years ago.

Mr Koskei said matters were getting out of hand yet their leaders were seemingly unconcerned.

The road's construction is being funded by the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra) under a kitty overseen by members of Parliament.

The MP and his aides did not answer calls and messages for comment on the matter.