Kiambu County Government plans to upgrade Thika’s populous and most notorious Kiandutu slum by improving its sanitation and road network in a bid to address diseases challenges, crime and frequent fires.
The Acting Governor, James Nyoro said more link roads will be put up, sewerage system modernized and garbage collection enhanced.
Speaking on Monday evening when he donated blankets and food items to hundreds of Friday fire victims, Nyoro said with good roads linking all parts of the slum, fire incidences could be avoided.
He added that the County had set aside funds to purchase a fire engine that will be designated to the slum.
“The county is in the process of upgrading the slum by improving its sanitation. It will also have its own fire engine to fight frequent fires. The road system will also be improved to ease accessibility,” he said.
He said in future, they will have a slum upgrade program to put up decent houses for residents at low cost.
The residents however are opposed to the slum upgrade proposal, saying they should be allowed to develop houses of their interest without coercion.
They further called for the fast-tracking of the issuance of title deeds to help them live at the village without fear.
On Friday, fire razed hundreds of tin-houses at the informal settlement as property of unknown value went to up in flames.
The cause of the inferno that started at around 9am and ended in the evening is yet to be established even as victims have to contend with the effects of cold weather and unending rains.
“The area needs a standby fire engine to respond to fire incidences. The village also lacks enough water to fight out fire. In the Friday incident, youth were forced to use sewerage water to extinguish the inferno that lasted 12 hours,” said Dorothy Mumbi, a local resident.
By Muoki Charles