Local leaders oppose plans for Sh300b express highway

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja. He says the project will displace people. [File, Standard]
Leaders in the Taita Taveta County have opposed plans by the Government to construct a Sh300 billion express road from Nairobi to Mombasa.

Among those opposed to the project are Governor Granton Samboja and Voi MP Jones Mlolwa.

According to Mr Samboja, the 473-kilometre road will pass through residents' farms, and displace thousands of people in Voi sub-county.

Speaking during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Ghazi Primary School yesterday, Samboja called for the suspension of the road.

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Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) has already carried out an aerial survey of the project, and erected beacons at Man Eaters, Mbololo, Sagala and Marungu areas.

Mr Mlolwa told County Commissioner Rodah Onyancha, who read the presidential speech, that residents would not allow the project to pass through their lands.

“We have small farms and we will not allow the road to pass through them since people will be displaced,” Mlolwa said.

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He told the Government to look for an alternative route while laying down the project.

Samboja added that the public's views were not sought out when when the project was being planned.

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“The project should be suspended because no public participation was done. Locals must fully be involved in the project implementation. They should know its benefits," he said.

Some residents who were interviewed said the road should instead pass through the vast Tsavo National Park where there is enough land. 

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Taita Taveta CountyGranton SambojaJones MlolwaExpressway