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Residents of Imenti start repair of 12km dilapidated road

Thursday May 30 2019

 Kiebogi village in Imenti South

Residents of Kiebogi village in Imenti South, Meru County on May 29, 2019 dig a dilapidated 12-kilometre road which they say has been neglected, making it impossible for vehicles to pass. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES WANYORO
By CHARLES WANYORO
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Residents of Kiebogi village in Imenti South Sub-County, Meru County have started repairing a crucial but dilapidated 12-kilometre road to ease transport in the area.

The about 200 villagers, comprising the young and the old, started digging and levelling the road from Miruriiri market along the Meru-Nairobi highway in an exercise they expect to last for five days.

Equipped with hoes and shovels, the residents said they are unable to access key amenities due to the poor state of the road which was first demarcated in 1969.

A boda boda rider rips and falls

A boda boda rider rips and falls due to the loose soil on the road. Residents have appealed to the county government to consider laying murram on the road. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

NO VEHICLES

Ms Jennifer Joseph, 65, who is one of those building the road, said they were jolted into action after a woman delivered on the road since no vehicle could access the area.

A week earlier, the residents had been forced to carry on foot, a casket bearing the remains of one their own after the vehicle ferrying it stalled.

Ms Joseph said the road repair is an annual event that is getting tedious by the day due to deep gullies that have developed over the years.

"Every time it rains, storm water from uphill floods the road making it impassable. We have to walk long distances since no vehicles can access this area," said the grandmother.

Women preparing food

Women preparing food for the road builders. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

DEEP GULLIES

When it rains, Ms Jennifer said, children have to be escorted to and from school to ensure they do not fall into the deep gullies.

The road connects the farming community of Kiune and Kiebogi with Miruriri market.

Kiune has an important dispensary, primary and secondary schools which residents rely on.

Ms Carol Kainyu, a banana trader, said many farmers are counting losses since most of their produce could not get to the market.

This time round, the residents pooled resources to buy foodstuffs to cook for the workers repairing the road.

Deep gullies

Deep gullies have developed on the road over the years, making it risky for school children. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

FOOD FOR WORKERS

Some of the women have set camp in one of the homesteads where they prepare tea, porridge and rice for the road builders.

"This road has never been graded ever since it was demarcated. We are hoping that the MCA, John Kireria, will consider it for graveling," said Mr Festus Mbae, the area manager.

Mr Patrick Muthomi, 63, said they feel discriminated against since they pay taxes yet they do not receive adequate services.

"I saw my parents digging the road using their hands. Other areas have their roads graded but it is not happening here. No vehicle can access this place when it rains. We feel helpless but we leave it to God," he said.

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