NYERI, Kenya, Jul 21 – When 85-year-old Muthoni Gathiani died, her relatives realized an uphill task awaited them. They had to hand-carry her remains for 2km to her resting place.
This is the predicament that faces residents of Thuriru village, Kirimukuyu ward in Nyeri’s Mathira constituency. Here, access roads have been encroached and reduced to footpaths.
The situation has made it difficult for most villagers to access their homes especially during social gatherings.
Villagers who narrated their ordeal told Capital FM News the current situation was as a result of encroachment in successive years following a demarcation in 1952.
“When we lose someone, we have to assist in carrying caskets. When one of us is seriously sick the same must happen, we need the government to intervene,” said Wahome Ngunyi.
Ngunyi who has buried at least four of his relatives under similar circumstances said villagers had held a meeting with leaders including national administration officials, but some families had frustrated efforts to reopen roads.
“It’s not that we have not tried to solve this problem, but we always end up losing since these rich families especially those who live near the tarmac bribe government and county officials so nothing happens,” said Ngunyi.
Kingori Wanjau, a former assistant chief, said that during his tenure he tried to reopen the road to no avail adding that the villagers’ plight can only be addressed if all leaders forge a common approach to the issue.
“It’s pathetic that kenyans at this age and time can have this problem but it’s not that it cannot be solved but laxity among leaders is the main cause of the delay,” said Kingori.
Efforts to contact the area Member of County Assembly national administration officials were unsuccessful as calls went unanswered.