Residents live in fear over looming rains
Residents of Kiriko, Gathanji, Gituamba and Iruri villages in Gatundu North, Kiambu County are up in arms over government failure to relocate them as the country expects the El Niño phenomenon rainfall that is likely to cause flooding and landslides.
While water from the Karimenu Dam has been submerging their homes, having already swamped their plantations including maize, bananas, napier grass among other crops, the locals dread the rainy season might cause a calamity in the area.
They singled out the possibility of the unusual rain causing deaths as the water that has been seeping from underground could increase and as a result make their homes uninhabitable
Locals told journalists the project they initially thought would positively turn around water scarcity in the country is now a deathbed and continues to impoverish them as they have no land to cultivate, a challenge that has made them beggars.
They took issue with the government for undertaking zero contingency measures to have them relocated to safer grounds by fully compensating for their land and other damages.
Construction of the Sh24 billion dam has never been fully completed following a seething row between the government and locals over delayed compensation. While some locals were unsuccessfully paid in phase two of the project, other locals who were not in the original list of affected persons were later requested to offer their land to accommodate the dam’s buffer zone.