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Dongo Kundu residents demand compensation

A  section of residents in three villages in Kinango, Kwale County, are crying foul and demanding a share of the Dongo Kundu bypass compensation.

The  Dongo Kundu bypass, also known as Mombasa Southern Bypass is being implemented by the Kenya National Highways  Authority (KeNHA) and constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

The villagers contend that they have been displaced by the construction of phase two of the bypass and that they are yet to be paid.

The  Bypass, whose first phase of Sh.11 billion was completed, includes the construction of a series of roads and bridges linking Mombasa West to the South Coast in Kwale County.

The distraught villagers led by Hamisi Tsuma Mwero said the multi-billion road infrastructure project has displaced them from their ancestral land without getting compensated.

They lamented that their efforts to secure compensation was being frustrated by demands that they produce land ownership documents that they lack despite living there for decades.

The villagers said they are not opposed to the project that will spur economic growth in Mombasa and Kwale counties but seek to be included in any compensation package by the National Government.

“We are aware of the benefits of the project and in support of it but our main concern is delayed compensation and lack of representation of community interests,” he said.

Mwero said villagers in Mwamdudu, Chongongwe and Kasemeni areas eked out a living through subsistence farming but now face the risk of food insecurity as their land was hived off for the road project.

“We seek to be adequately compensated for the loss of our land and livelihoods,” he said, Wednesday, near the construction site.

Another resident elder, Joel Mwanyiro, said the community interests have not been factored and that they are yet to fully benefit from the project in terms of job opportunities for the youth.

He said land cartels were frustrating efforts by the villagers to get compensation through the National Land Commission.

Mwanyiro noted that the Government has already started the construction of the road without compensating the locals affected by the project.

“Our parcels of land have been taken by the road project and subsistence farming has been our only source of livelihood,” he said, adding that without any compensation they face bleak future.

The  KeNHA’s Coast Regional Director, Jared Makori  said construction of the second phase of the road project is underway and progressing well, adding that the Chinese contractor is offering jobs to local youth.

Eng. Makori told the Kwale County Development Implementation Co-ordination Committee (CDICC) meeting, that in phase two 8.9 km road between Mwache junction and Mteza is being constructed.

He said phase three will see the construction of a 6.9 km road between Mteza and Kibundani, linking the Highway to the Likoni-Lunga Lunga road where there will be an interchange.

He said additionally, two bridges will be constructed, one at Mwache 900 m long and another at Mteza 1400 m long with phase two and three expected to cost Sh.30 billion.

Eng. Makori said the project is aimed at easing transport in Mombasa and Kwale counties, boost industrial development and increase Mombasa port efficiency.

The  Kwale County Commissioner (CC), Karugu Ngumo said the bypass will provide an alternative to the busy Likoni crossing channel which has been afflicted by the frequent breakdown of ferries.

He  said Dongo Kundu Bypass payouts are being handled by the National Land Commission (NLC) which has a list of the beneficiaries and called for patience.

By  Husein  Abdullahi

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