Residents of West Asembo ward in Rarieda Sub County are regretting the choice of their elected leaders, one being in Germany and the other is inaccessible while their needs go unrepresented.
For those reasons, they have protested against their Member of County Assembly (MCA) Ambrose Akuno and Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Otiende Amollo, over the poor state of roads in the area.
Angry residents barricaded the Ndori-Lwanda-K’Otieno highway complaining about impassable roads accusing both the MCA and MP for failing to refurbish the rural access roads.
The said unnavigable roads include Rarieda – Nyagoko – Anyuongi (national government), Rarieda-choke dhok- tiga, KaJoshua Abondo – Namba ko Kara, Akom junction-tiga and Kochieng Mito-Kiswero-Omboye roads (county government).
Constituents complained that Rarieda- Nyagoko- Anyuongi road which is under the National government is in pathetic state which has led to rising cases of road accidents.
They said that while their counterparts in East Asembo, North Uyoma and West Uyoma wards are enjoying good roads, their MCA, Mr Akuno has been away in Germany for the better part of the year leaving them unrepresented.
On the other hand, Stephen Ochieng Adego, a bodaboda operator said their attempts to see area MP has been thwarted by officers at CDF office who keep sending them away. He blamed their elected leaders for failing to deliver on their mandate and neglecting their needs.
Fred Okach, another bodaboda operator, said they are tired of empty promises from the area National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NGCDF) office who have negated their promises to repair the roads.
Okatch asked the area legislator to organise and meet the residents since their efforts to meet him at his office to express their concerns have been futile.
A resident, Samson Ogendo, regretted that the National government road was last refurbished in 2008 during the first term of former area MP Eng Nicholas Gumbo but has remained neglected and impassable since wearing off in 2016.
He narrated that most of them purchase motorbikes through loans but are unable to service them because of high cost of repairs occasioned by bad roads which has led to the motorbikes being repossessed, further throwing the youth into poverty.
“Otiende should stop making false statements in the media about the affairs in Rarieda. He should come to the ground and see for himself how bad these roads are,” Ogendo challenged.
Margaret Ochieng Oginga another resident, said because of impassable roads, most bodaboda and vehicles ferrying bodies for burial in the village pass through her compound giving her sleepless nights and causing insecurity.
Elsewhere, Florence Obiero, complained that the youths in the area have been neglected after campaigning for the leaders and now cannot do their bodaboda business profitably due to poor infrastructure.
She called on the two leaders to rise to the occasion, reminding them that they will also need the roads when they troop back for 2022 campaigns.
Rarieda NGCDF manager, Paul Saoke who spoke to the media termed accusations by bodaboda operators as unfounded, stating he has never met any delegation from the electorate seeking to see the MP to discuss road issues let alone denying them opportunity to meet him.
Saoke said all marram roads in Rarieda constituency are under the county government after the function was devolved in 2016.
He further explained that as NGCDF, they only have Sh. 22 million for repairing roads under Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) in all the five wards which are marked as high value roads and the said Rarieda-Anyuongi road is not one of them.
Saoke added that so far they have spent Sh. 5 million on refurbishing high value roads in West Asembo ward from the KeRRA kitty.
The NGCDF manager asked the residents to channel their grievances to their MCA for repair works through county government kitty instead of blaming area MP.
Attempts to reach the Germany based MCA Mr Akuno on phone for comment on the matter failed to materialise.
By Brian Ondeng