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County government urged to resettle squatters from Mwea Rice Scheme

Kangai ward MCA John Gitari now wants the County government to resettle squatters in the vast Mwea irrigation scheme.

Gitari said many of the villages set aside for the rice farmers in Mwea were overflowing with population and added in no time people will start building their houses in the rice fields.

Some of the affected families with their houses destroyed by floods and a road to the village which is completely flooded making it difficult to get to the village.
Pictures by Irungu Mwangi/KNA Kirinyaga

“We need the county government to urgently come up with a solution to resettle this population, otherwise they will not be able to cope with the situation when they start invading and putting houses in the rice fields,” Gitari cautioned.
He said there is also the need to relocate the people from Marura and Kamairungi who are currently living in an area previously set aside as a swamp.
The MCA  said the government must provide a solution to the challenges facing the people, especially where it involves the risk of loss of life due to flooding.
Gitari said over 1,500 people affected by the floods are still living in deplorable conditions when there is enough land, which can be used to resettle the victims.
“Just as the government is resettling other people in the coast province, we also want our people resettled and issued with title deeds,” he said
The leader was speaking at Karie during the distribution of foodstuff to the flood victims provided by the government.
He said the area has been neglected and added even those going back to their houses were sleeping in hanging beds to avoid the soggy mud inside their houses.
Gitari said Kangai ward despite being highly productive in horticulture produce, 70 percent of residents are yet to be connected with electricity.
“We can’t understand why the rural electrification programme has not installed the transformers which are fully paid for,” he said.
The local chief Jeremiah Njoka said Mwea Member of Parliament Kavinga Wathayu should liaise with the County government for the repair of a dyke, which kept the area from flooding.
He said the National Irrigation Board made the dyke and had managed to keep the water away until recently when it got eroded and gave way to the flooding water.
He said Marura area previously referred to as Nguka swamp was not meant for settlement of the people.
Njoka said many of the victims have lost their rice crop after it was completely submerged by the floods.
He said over 2000 people were affected by the floods in Kangai ward.

By Irungu Mwangi

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