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Southern by-pass a ‘curse’ for China Garden Estate residents

The problem started when the heavy trucks on Mombasa Road were diverted to the Southern by-pass, which runs a few metres from the estate. Photo/ COURTESY

The problem started when the heavy trucks on Mombasa Road were diverted to the Southern by-pass, which runs a few metres from the estate. Photo/ COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – From the balcony of one of the maisonettes within China Garden Estate in Langata constituency, one can see the beautiful sky scrapers of the city from one side and the Nairobi National Park from another.

Such is the serenity people who bought houses or have rented hoped to enjoy but they now perpetually live under a cloud of dust.

The problem started when the heavy trucks on Mombasa Road were diverted to the Southern by-pass, which runs a few metres from the estate.

The road, which is still under construction, is no longer a blessing to the residents who spoke to Capital FM News on Tuesday detailing their ‘cocktail’ of challenges.

“The risks of living here is enormous… the dust coming from the road is just terrible. We are constantly having allergies,” one of the residents who did not want to be named said.

The mother of a three year old boy complained that, “my son is constantly on treatment because of dust.”

Joseph Karanja, when he moved from Eastland’s and bought a house in the estate, said he had hoped to, “live in a quiet environment but the exact opposite has happened. I do not enjoy living in my house.”

Karanja said his worry stems from the sluggish manner in which the authorities ranging from NEMA were responding to their grievances.

“The by-pass was a good thing to us but it is slowly turning to a curse,” he said this time reaching for his handkerchief. “It’s a cocktail of problems.”

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“If only the electric fence and the perimeter wall were to help…” another wondered loudly.

The estate is sandwiched between two dusty roads that pass just a few metres from the perimeter wall.

They have asked Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to intervene and ensure ‘their countless’ challenges are solved.

Other than the dust that has enveloped their houses and vehicles, the 64-mansion estate suffer from the deafening noise of the heavy trucks using the route all day long and night.

“I really don’t know how the kids exist here; the noise and the dust is just too much for them,” Karanja regretted.

They especially want the contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation to water the route frequently to lower the levels of dust that continues to pose a major health risk to the residents mostly the children living there.

The residents who have been incurring more than Sh20,000 on water expenses per month each also want Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company to address the problem saying their taps have been dry for more than two years.

“For the last two and half years I buy water. I even told Nairobi Water to take their meter,” Martin Mutiga a resident of the estate for more than five years said.

Similar sentiments were raised by Lydia Laburu who spends Sh28,000 per month on water expenses.

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