, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – With the rains, Kenya’s underbelly has been exposed.
From the loss of hundreds of lives, destruction of property and finally the inability to harvest the rainwater for future use, during the dry season.
Not so long ago, a similar cycle was experienced in the country, but this time during the prolonged dry season.
The most battered sector of the economy is infrastructure and more so roads, some of which have been defaced completely, like in the case of Munyu Road, a lifeline for Thika in Kiambu County.
Munyu Road, just like many others spread across the country, can easily pass for a thesis, as scholars seek to break down the impact of such a road to ordinary taxpayers and an ailing economy.
It is so busy and raking in a lot of cash to Kiambu County but yet, Munyu Road is one of the most neglected, as established by a Capital FM News crew.
While there, about 20 vehicles got stuck in one spot in the busy road that is about five kilometres from Thika Town.
“We never stop going to the garage despite the County Government collecting a lot of revenue from quarries located along this route and other businesses,” Robert Mbiyu, a boda-boda operator said.
Along the route, are farms that feed Thika and sections of Machakos County Government, other than the tens of quarries, producing raw materials for the booming construction industry in the area.
“Our farm produce can no longer be taken to the market. At times, vegetables fall on sewage water running along the road,” Mark Ngunjiri, a farmer said.
His lorry carrying farm produce was stuck for hours in a section of the road.
Residents, fatigued of waiting for intervention from authorities, think they can do something, however small.
“We are trying to fix it ourselves but how far can we go?” desperately, Martin Waigwa wondered.
On the road, once can count tens of county vehicles taking garbage to a dumpsite, which is also located along the road.
Some private garbage firms have resorted to heaping the roadside with garbage after the road rendered the dumpsite inaccessible.
A shopping centre that used to thrive has been cut off from its clients; it is now a dead town, locals are suffering.
“Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu should keep his word and fix this road,” a resident said.
County authorities who spoke to Capital FM News say the road will be fixed after the rain season, but locals dismissed that as a familiar “song”.
If devolution is good and really works, residents say the road must be repaired to acceptable standards.
“Why should the County Government continue collecting money from here?” another visibly agitated local wondered loudly.
A few kilometres from Thika, residents of Nairobi are singing the same tunes of agony.
Crater-like potholes has dotted crucial roads, in East Africa’s largest city and a backbone for Kenya’s economy.