Construction of drainage channels to displace more
By Brian Okinda
The National Government has moved to preserve and conserve not only the polluted Ngong River but the environment as well by initiating construction of drainage vents along the river.
The construction is currently underway and with the National Youth Service providing the much needed labour, the project is expected to move swiftly.
To conserve the environment the vents running along the river drains the newly constructed latrines, this is to ensure that the river is no longer a sewer like I used to be.
Residents see the construction as a good development to the area. Maurice Otieno a resident of Kisumu Ndogo village has praised the move as he stated that the river has for a long time been a dumpsite while still the pit-latrines and even the bio-centers have been using the river as a sewerage, which for a long has been causing pollution.
According to Maurice the drainage would reduce flying toilets and contraction of diseases like cholera and any other water borne diseases that children have been contracting as a result of playing near the river with the effluents no one knew from where.
To achieve the construction of the sewer line residents living next to Ngong River and its tributaries have been moved to create room for the construction. As a result most of Gatwikira residents residing along the river held peaceful demonstrations at the chief’s office in Olympic.
Alice Auma a tenant and one of the affected residents claimed that she was really finding it hard to move as she hadn’t planned for that only to realize after being given a one day notice.
In a quick rejoinder Sarang’ombe village chief Danvas Mogire claimed that the residents had been issued a three month warning to pave way for the construction of the sewer lines. He also added that there were no excuses for not being warned in advance.
But asked whether the displacement was unfair as the affected ones are not able to be compensated the contractor said no one was being replaced as the construction was carried in the assumption that the area would be left and the residents will be free to choose to reconstruct t their houses as before.
There rose a conflict recently between residents and NYS officers who have for the past five months carried out a number of projects for the community of those living in Kibera.
Residents who had been thinking that the NYS official were responsible for the senseless displacement of thousands decided to thwart their efforts and ended up rioting only to be stopped by the District Commissioner John Elungata who was in the front line to clear their doubts.
The DC Mr. Elungata said that the drainage system was not part of the NYS projects. He added that NYS got involved in the confusion only because the drainage was meant for the numerous toilets the NYS officers had constructed in several areas of Kibera.
An uncounted property was lost during the riots as structure owners like Jane Njeri Mwangi cried foul of losing over 30 iron sheets after she had ordered for the demolition of her houses to pave way for the drainage when the rioters arrived with stones, sticks and pangas and threatened everyone around them.
Confirming the DC’s word was an NYS Officer who only identified himself as Mike.
“These people are contradicting themselves by thinking that we are involved in the drainage projects, we are not,” Mike said. He also added that the only projects the NYS is involved with here in Kibera are the construction of the road from Makina to Silanga, construction of community washrooms and carrying out community clean-ups to ensure the villages of Kibera are clean.
The sewer line construction is expected to finish in one month time and the chief called for peace as the executed members demanded for compensation.