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Nandi residents feud with Chinese company over abandoned quarry

Friday October 25 2019



Nandi County. PHOTO | GOOGLE MAPS

Nandi County. PHOTO | GOOGLE MAPS 

TOM MATOKE
By TOM MATOKE
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More than 400 residents are seeking compensation from a Chinese company accused of destroying a swamp that led to the flooding of their homes in Iribo village, Nandi County.

The residents said the company had established a quarry at the wetland for the construction of the Kakamega-Kisumu Road and failed to fill it.

They said the water from the quarry destroyed their homes during the ongoing rainy season.

They claimed that their homes and farms had been destroyed by the flooding.

The director of Covec company Tribuny Li, however, denied the accusations saying they were only engaged by government through KeNHA to construct the road and did not have funds for compensation.

He said they had constructed two boreholes and employed locals as part of their corporate social responsibility. 

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On Wednesday, a meeting between the affected families and the company’s managers turned chaotic after the parties failed to agree on the demands.

The residents led by John Chweya, Paul Chemwori and Grace Iminza questioned why the company was not willing to compensate families.

“Our roads are impassable while farmers living around the swamp have not harvested anything because their crops were destroyed,” he said.

Terik ward rep Osborn Komen and Nandi director of Environment James Murei challenged the Mr Li to explain why they had not responded to the villagers’ concerns.

Mr Murei denied claims that the county government had ignored the residents’ complaints asking for more time to find a lasting solution to the problem.

“The county government and road company management will hold more talks to avert further losses,” Mr Murei said.

Mr Komen pleaded with the local community to allow the company implement new agreement that included digging of more bore holes for local schools and for a local market at Kapsengere shopping centre.

He also said the company will repair roads destroyed near the wetland.

Trouble started last week when the road company started clearing a building site established in the wetland.

Residents protested the move blocking the removal of the construction equipment until they are compensated for the damages.

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