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Residents welcome makeshift footbridge across river Mathioya

A makeshift footbridge connecting parts of Gitugi and Kiru wards in Mathioya Sub County has brought a sigh of relief to area residents, who have been putting their lives at risk over the years, while crossing the fast flowing river to access markets, schools and their farms.
Well-wishers led by a local resident Samuel Mwangi have mobilized resources to install the footbridge with residents now calling on Murang’a county government to put up a permanent bridge.
During the commissioning of the temporary bridge Monday, residents said the initiative was a big reprieve and asked for a permanent solution in near future.
The initial footbridge connecting Kahwai village in Gitugi ward and Warugara village of Kiru ward was constructed by colonialists in the 1950s.
“The colonial footbridge did not last for long before it was destroyed during the clamour for independence. Since then local residents here have been crossing the swollen river with many losing their lives in the process,” reflected local elder James Mwangi.
Mwangi lauded the installation of the footbridge saying it would enable farmers to access their farms and also increase interactions between people leaving on both sides of the river.
“Our children will safely cross the river and access schools and also farmers from Kiru sell their milk at Gitugi now that their movement has been made easy,” he added.
On his part, Mwangi commonly known as Kifeeti lauded well-wishers who joined him to put up the footbridge noting that he will push for construction of a permanent foot bridge across the river.
In 2018, parts of the Kahwai village was hit by landslide where three lives were lost with Kifeeti saying the footbridge will help in curtailing such catastrophes in future.
“I was touched by lives which were lost in this river and with the footbridge locals will safely access the other side of the river,” added Kifeeti who works with the county government of Murang’a as the Gitugi ward clerk.
The area assistant chief David Waiganjo cautioned residents from crossing swollen rivers, especially at this time the area has started receiving rains.
Waiganjo noted that parts of Kahwai area are prone to landslides and residents should be observant of cracks which may develop at their home compounds.
“I request residents to move to safer grounds if they spot earth cracks at their home compounds. Two years ago we lost some lives here due to a landslide and this time round we need to be more careful,” he further said.
By Bernard Munyao

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