Residents plead for assistance over Kiambu killer bridge

May 24, 2018 (4 weeks ago) 5:34 pm
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Hannah Wambui is physically challenged and had to seek the assistance of well-wishers to cross the bridge, but this does not guarantee her safety/MOSES MUOKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24- For those walking, it takes serious concentration like slack lining or risk drowning.

When we arrived, a boda-boda operator had just been rescued from the raging waters of River Ruiru in Juja Constituency, Kiambu County.

He had tried to cross over the river when he fell but local youths who were around there when the incident happened acted swiftly and saved him.

The man missed death by a whisker.

It is a heart-wrenching tale of a makeshift bridge linking Juja farm and Murera Daraja estate in Theta ward; a two-decade fodder for politicians wooing locals during the electioneering period.

Due to the narrowness of the bridge, one has to walk carefully or risk falling off and drown in the flooded river.

They have heard of the Sh9 billion, National Youth Service scandal among others and this has boiled their anger to a melting point.

But it is not entirely anger, the residents fear for their lives. It is a perilous bridge.

Until when will they (politicians) stop peddling lies? The residents have wondered for long and even held demonstrations after a teacher was swept away by the river as he was crossing over to impart knowledge to ‘tomorrow’s’ leaders in a nearby primary school; they are tired.

“Are they waiting for us to die like what happened in Solai? (in Nakuru where a dam broke its wall, swept an entire village, killing 48 people)” a local wondered loudly when he saw the Capital FM News crew.

Children and elderly women are the worst affected as they have to rely on some youths lazing around the bridge, some who this reporter established were drunk and others were openly smoking bhang.

Hannah Wambui is physically challenged and had to seek the assistance of well-wishers to cross the bridge, but this does not guarantee her safety.

“Recently I slept on this side of the road, inside a car because of this bridge. No car or motorbike could dare cross,” she told Capital FM News.

“I urge our leaders to construct this bridge; it is a lifeline for this place. They should know a promise is a debt, let them keep their word.”

Sammy Njoroge, a boda-boda operator recalled how politicians even assembled them at the same spot, with assurances that they will put their suffering to an end.

When we interviewed him, he had mean words for the local Member of the County Assembly, who had paid some youths a Sh1000 to put some bricks for people to step on.

One has to strike a balance including the aged woman carrying farm products; you miss a step, you are gone.

“I am even tired of voting. I remember how I was rained on the Election Day with shame and pain because we elected people who do not help us,” Njoroge said.

By highlighting this, they hope the Kiambu leadership will act swiftly, to stop the imminent disaster.

The area is represented by MP Francis Waititu.

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