Residents of Rongai to protest poor state of roads
Residents in Ongata Rongai, Kitengela, Kiserian, and adjacent areas in Kajiado County, are not an unhappy lot due to the deplorable state of roads in those areas. The residents are accusing the county government of neglecting the roads despite several promises to upgrade them.
The residents have now written a letter to the OCS Ongata Rongai Police Station, seeking permission demonstrate peacefully in an effort to compel the national and county governments to rehabilitate the roads that are giving them nightmares.
“Take notice that the residents, business community, and road users of Acacia, Oloosirkon, Sholinke, Olooltepes, Ole Kasasi, Pesha, Kandisi, Scheme six, Kambi Moto, Kware, Maasai Lodge, Kitengela and Rimpa Areas will hold demonstrations starting February 20, 2023, to express the displeasure, dissatisfaction, and annoyance at the way and the pace at which the issue of infrastructure namely stalled 65kms of roads and Tuala Kitengela roads are being handled by Kerra and the Ministry of Roads and Transport,” the letter signed by Julious Ongaro Otieno reads in part.
“The aim of the protest is to register our discontent and present issues that the county government needs to act on immediately to avoid further action.”
Mr Otieno had in October 2022 petitioned the government to tarmac and upgrade the Maasai Lodge-Kitengela Road. The petition was signed by more than 10,000 residents and was submitted under Article 119 of the Constitution and Standing Orders 202 of the National Assembly.
It cited the constitutional rights to freedom of movement, a clean and healthy environment, and economic and social rights, including the right to health, housing, and education, as reasons for their concern.
According to the petition, roads in the area are designated to two separate authorities, which are the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra), and are of great social and economic importance due to their proximity to Nairobi County and their role as hubs of economic activity.
The petition highlighted that the abandoned roadworks have resulted in significant harm to residents, including high costs of transport and vehicle repairs, fuel wastage, exposure to dust and poor visibility, orthopaedic complications, and increased risk to school-going children.
“The residents and businesses in Ongata Rongai, Kitengela, Kiserian, and adjacent areas have expressed their frustrations with conflicting information from leaders and a lack of hope for when the works will commence,” the petition states in part.
Residents are blaming the county government for turning a blind eye to their grievances, as their all their efforts of reaching out to them has proved futile.
“Some of these roads have been in a deplorable state for years, yet the county government has done nothing about it,” said Edward Ngure who resides in Olekasasi Area.
Some of the residents have also accused contractors who are tasked with the expansion and repair of roads in the county. They claim the contractors have been doing shoddy work including poor designing and maintenance, and on some occasions abandoning the constructions.
They say that poor roads not only waste valuable time but also increase road carnage on the Rongai-Nairobi route as motorists break the rules in an attempt to beat traffic.
“Living in Kiserian and Ongata Rongai has literally become a nightmare we all hope we can wake up from as soon as possible,” area resident Daniel Onyango said.
“We want Transport CS to intervene and ensure the single-lane Magadi road is expanded to accommodate the growing population with increased economic activities,” said Moses Kilonzo who also lives in the area.
Residents are also worried that fire or mass casualty incident during rush hour could be disastrous as there are no alternative entries and exits.
Areas around the former Tumaini Supermarket, now Quickmart Supermarket, Maasai Mall and Maasai Lodge stage take the lead, as the junctions lack road signs and properly designated matatu stages.
These junctions are always congested by motorists and passengers, causing heavy traffic snarl-ups and congestion which is a haven for accidents.
For instance, lorries using Maasai Lodge Road sometimes lose their control and skid towards the container-fabricated shops on the lower side of the road, not sparing the pedestrians and passengers along the road.
Area residents are now beseeching the county government, in partnership with the relevant authorities, to make haste on the matter and ensure good roads in the entire Kajiado County.