NJORO, KENYA: Police escorted a cache of county road-works machinery to Njoro police station after area residents threatened to destroy them accusing the county administration of doing shoddy work.
The residents forced drivers of the machinery to alight from the equipment demanding audience with the governor on the quality of roads being done in the area under the Boresha Barabara program.
According to John Ng’ang’a, a resident, the community living around Egerton were not happy after the county diverted marram meant to rehabilitate a road in the area to construct another road.
“An Asian investor gave away marram for rehabilitation of the Egerton-Ng’ondu road but the county government diverted the materials to do a different road. We can’t allow our resources to be used in developing other areas facing the same challenge,” said Ng’ang’a.
The diversion of the marram has left the county patching the local roads with loose quarry dust, which has not done much to improve the roads.
The residents maintained that the machinery would not move out of the area until Governor Lee Kinyanjui granted them audience adding that they felt shortchanged.
“We feel that there is wastage of resources in the manner in which the roads are being done. They only did a few patches on areas that had potholes and shifted to another road. We demand accountability and value for the taxpayers money,” said Ng’ang’a.
The standoff, which lasted for hours, saw the county employees call for assistance from the police who assisted them move the machinery away from the charging protestors.
Attempts by Njoro and Neissuit Ward representatives Zacharia Kahiro and Samuel Tanui to calm down the protestors were futile as the residents shouted them down.
They took the machinery to Njoro Police Station for safety with the residents maintaining that construction would not continue until the executive addressed them.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui visited the area alongside County Executive Committee Member for Roads and Infrastructure Lucy Kariuki to calm the situation.
Addressing the residents Kinyanjui urged the roads department to look for alternative source of construction materials saying that the ones used ere of low quality.
He added that more funds would be set aside for the roads in the area since they are currently doing spot patching only.
"More money will be set aside to ensure quality of work is done. The engineers should also focus on drainage to ensure durability of the roads," said Kinyanjui.