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.
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.
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.
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.