Kajiado villagers chase visitors over coronavirus scare
Sunday, April 5th, 2020
There was tension at a private farm at Duka Moja area in Kajiado Central after villagers surrounded it armed with sticks and rungus claiming that a group of unknown people had been ferried into the farm in the middle of the night.
The villagers claimed that eight women and five men were brought to work on the farm and were all sleeping in one tiny house in total disregard of social distancing in the wake of covid 19 outbreak.
They demanded that the ‘strangers’ be returned to where they came from as they were scared of Coronavirus being ‘brought’ into their village.
John Merin, a village elder said the group was sleeping in a poorly ventilated house and had no masks and if any of them had the virus it would easily spread in the village.
He added that the Government had directed that people should reduce unnecessary travels and work from home to curb the spread of the deadly virus yet the farm owner was bringing in groups of people to work in his farm without providing them with masks and sanitisers.
“We don’t want any visitors here, the Government said everyone should work from home so as to reduce the spread of the virus and yet people are being ferried from other places to come and work here in total disregard of the preventive measures issued,” said Merin.
Catherine Meroni, said the villagers had no problem with the group working at the farm but they were concerned that they all sleep in one tiny house and had no masks putting the whole village at risk of infection in case one of them is infected.
Meroni noted that there was no water or soap placed at the gate of the farm and people just walked in and out in total disregard of preventive measures laid out by the Ministry of Health.
“We have to protect ourselves and our children. We cannot allow just anyone to come here and we do not know whether they have Corona or not and yet they mingle with villagers. Everyone should stay home so as to reduce the spread of this disease,” she said.
However the farm manager claimed that the villagers were only protesting because they had not been employed and the jobs had been given to specialists who come from elsewhere.
It took the intervention of area MCA Samuel Teum to calm down the angry residents after being assured by the farm owner that the workers who had been brought in would be hosted elsewhere after working on the farm and sanitation facilities and masks would be provided.
Kajiado County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha urged residents to strictly adhere to directives issued by the Ministry of Health so as to avoid contracting the Coronavirus.
He directed all public facilities to ensure that they provide soap and water for their customers and ensure that they wash their hands first before being attended to.
“I want to urge all residents to strictly follow the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health on how to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus. We will firmly deal with anyone flouting the guidelines and putting the lives of other Kenyans at risk,” said the CC.
Nkanatha noted that surveillance had been heightened at Namanga, Shomploe and Loitokitok entry points from Tanzania and all vehicles entering the country ferrying goods will have to undergo fumigation before being allowed to pass through.
The CC further emphasized that the curfew would be implemented and enforced to the letter and warned residents to ensure that they are in their houses by 7pm without fail.
“We are strictly implementing the curfew order. All persons must be inside their homes between 7PM to 5AM.Plan your time well so as not to be caught up in traffic as the curfew must be strictly obeyed. We will not allow any excuses,” he said
The CC revealed that Kajiado was fully prepared in case of any eventualities and that isolation centres had been established in all the five sub counties and 20 boarding schools identified as quarantine areas.
He added that a Multi-agency committee had already been formed to monitor the spread of the viral infection at the county and trace any persons suspected to have been in close contact with already confirmed positive cases.
By Rop Janet