Residents of Kigumo Sub County in Murang’a have expressed fear that the proposed Mau Mau road will be diverted from original design, leaving out some areas which were initially factored for connection.
The residents on Monday held a peaceful demonstration demanding confirmation from Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) that the 120-kilometre road will not leave behind some parts of Kigumo.
They claimed that in the current design, Kinyona area of Kigumo has been left out in the road that will connect Nyeri, Murang’a and Nyandarua counties.
The residents blocked the contractors who were on a site visit to access the section that cuts across the forest, until the assurance of connection was given.
A local community leader, Julius Mwaura claimed that there have been fears that the road would be diverted away from the forest to the neighbouring Gatanga constituency through Gatura and Kiarutara route.
Mwaura said the original design which residents are aware of was to connect Kinyona to Njabini in Nyrandarua through the Aberdare forests.
“We wonder why the road should then be diverted to Gatanga which will be a challenge for locals from here to go all through Gatanga then Njabini,” posed Mwaura.
He continued, “President Uhuru Kenyatta while in Kinyona last year gave a promise, but there are claims that the road will be diverted to pass through Gatura-Kiarutara to link with Njabini”.
The Kigumo MP, Ruth Mwaniki accompanied by officials from KeNHA and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) intervened and asked local residents to allow the contractors to complete their site visit.
Mwaniki said the plan of the road will be followed and Kigumo region will benefit a lot from the road that will shorten route between central region and Rift Valley.
The legislator lauded the project, saying once completed, economic activities will scale up in Murang’a, Nyeri and Nyandarua counties and increase wealth through inter-connection.
She noted that the Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia had assured her that construction earmarked to commence early next year will connect many parts of Murang’a with Njabini market in Nyandarua.
The government, she said, had given an assurance that there will be no diversion as the project design will be followed to the letter.
“The Mau Mau road will connect counties and will be a big win in Mt. Kenya region as distance to Nyandarua and Nakuru counties from Murang’a and Nyeri will be much shorter,” said the MP.
She added that apart from economic benefits and values, there will be a lot of connectivity, which will lead to increased tourism activities within Aberdare forests.
By Bernard Munyao