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SGR Billions Come Back to Hound Sultan Hamud Farmers in Kajiado East

The offending fence along the SGR line in Arroi. Residents want it brought down on allegations the fencing was not in the initial agreement.
The offending fence along the SGR line in Arroi. Residents want it brought down on allegations the fencing was not in the initial agreement.

The billions of shillings paid to property owners along the Standard Gauge Railway line to facilitate its construction from Sultan Hamud to Konza in Kajiado have come back to hound them.

Naked reality has struck their faces after the Kenya Railways, the owner of SGR line, started fencing off their acquired property.

The farmers are crying foul that the aspect of fencing the railway line was not part of the initial agreement with KR.
The area affected is the section from Sultan Hamud to Konza through Arroi, Kilimbwani, Kima to Konza where the fencing of SGR line is threatening closure of some schools and other amenities including boreholes for livestock and humans.

In the initial plans, the county government of Kajiado, the Kenya Railways and the National Land Commission carried out civic education for the thousands of the people to be affected by SGR line.

They were trained on how they would cope up with the giant project passing through their farms and how to invest the billions of shillings they were going to be compensated.

After receiving the loot, those who were paid never looked back until now when the KR embarked on fencing their property.

A section of people from Arroi and Kima carried out demonstrations along the SGR line on Sunday and yesterday morning.

The demos prompted Mashuuru Deputy County Commissioner, Stephen Nyakundi, to unleash security officers on them and to stop the demonstrators from causing damage to property.

“Yes there is a problem in Sultan Hamud, Arroi, Kilimbwani and Kima. It is a problem they have created because when they were receiving compensation from the NLC through KR, they never raised any issue,” said Nyakundi on the telephone.

The DCC yesterday however pointed an accusing finger at one, Harrison Tago, who is the KR Liaison Officer in the area, for alleged incitement.

He advised those not happy with the closure of the property to seek audience with KR instead of blocking roads and delaying a government flagship project.

But Meshack ole Wuasi, a beneficiary of the SGR compensation money, said their land was acquired by the government under duress and was not voluntarily surrendered.

These demonstrators in Arroi area of Sultan Hamud were warned by the area DCC, Stephen Nkakundi, against blocking the roads.
These demonstrators in Arroi area of Sultan Hamud were warned by the area DCC, Stephen Nkakundi, against blocking the roads.

“This was a compulsory acquisition and we had to accept after the government pledged to compensate us. They agreed they will build us underpasses, construct open water pans for our livestock but never told us about this incessant fence,” claimed Wuasi.

Wuasi claimed that before the flagship project started, the people of his area used an old road to sultan Hamud town that was parallel with the old railway line which would take them a “few” minutes.

“They promised us heaven but we are now starting to see red, and we feel cheated. Our children cannot access schools across this giant SGR; our cows cannot cross over to water points on the other side. We are demanding our rights,” said Wuasi.

The under passes that have been provided by SGR, according to Wuasi, are water ways and cannot be used by humans during rains seasons.

He said a school, Ilmao Primary School in Arroi Location of Mashuuru subcounty, is threatened with closure because the SGR fence has locked out from being accessed by pupils.

From Arroi to Sultan Hamud through the now closed road is 6km but people from the area will now be forced to travel 17 km on a longer route.

Farmers, who had initially provided routes through their farms, have blocked them and this has forced road users to seek alternative routes.

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