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Police quash protests against Kitui – Kibwezi road contractor

Anti-riot police officers in Kitui Monday forcefully dispersed residents of Mutendea village in Kitui Central who were protesting against Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese firm building the Kitui – Kibwezi road.
The angry protestors had for hours barricaded the Mutendea – Syongila marram road and blocked the contractor’s trucks from ferrying sand and water from Mutendea River.
They accused the road contractor of draining and polluting their only source of water besides failing to initiate SCR projects.
“They have destroyed the riverbed through unbridled sand mining which has also greatly reduced the water levels. We depend on Mutendea River for water for domestic use,” complained John Mutuku.
Chris Kasyoka, another local said the trucks had caused extensive destruction of the access road but the contractor was not willing to maintain it.
“They have done more harm than good for this community and we say enough is enough. Let them source for sand and water elsewhere,” he said.
The locals further claimed the contractor’s site at the area was disposing of sewerage waste into Mutendea River exposing them to health risks.
They also accused the contractor of failing to offer jobs to the locals arguing that they ought to have been given priority.
“They are operating in our area but have not employed any of the residents even for casual jobs,” lamented another protestor.
Township MCA Anthony Ndoo, who had joined the demonstrators demanded that the contractor tarmacks the dilapidated access road or vacate the area.
“They must also sink boreholes to provide adequate water for both the locals and the roadworks,” he emphasized.
Efforts to reach the contractor for comment were unsuccessful as calls and messages went unanswered.
By Yobesh Onwong’a

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