Residents of Kiserian and Ongata Rongai in Kajiado today took to the streets to protest the state of infrastructure that caused the death of 8 people recently.
The residents held prayers at Kwekwe Bridge on the road to Kiserian from Ongata Rongai where they lit candles and observe a one minute of silence in remembrance of the ten people killed by floods on May 3.
Pastor Edward Ondati of Nairobi Chapel Church, Ongata Rongai, led the prayers for the bereaved families and departed souls after on May 3.
Addressing the demonstrators, the chairman of Kiserian and Ongata Rongai residents association, Fred Gori, said at least 8 people died after they were swept away on the killer Kandisi and Kweke bridges on the night of May 3.
“As we speak now, 11 people have not been accounted after that fateful night. It pains us the residents when in every flooding season in this region we lose people. This area has been totally forgotten by the leadership, although it is only 30 minutes drive from Nairobi,” said Gori.
Gori said all the bridges along the Kiserian/Ongata Rongai road have no bridges and becomes risky for motorists to use at night during the rainy season.
He gave the example of Kweke bridge which he said it was constructed at a cost of Sh40 million and yet it has no rails. A woman and her child died on the bridge after they were swept away by floods on May 3.
The chairman said Ongata Rongai, Kiserian and surrounding areas seemingly ignored all plans as they developed, saying this is an indictment on physical planners at the then Olkejuado county council and its successor, the Kajiado County Government.
When governor Joseph Lenku visited the Killer Fatima South Bridge in Kandisi to assess the damage and condole with the victims, he promised tough action against the contractor if investigations reveal the job was substandard.
Gori said; “We do not know what to make of the governor’s statement. Most of us are not engineers. A few of us are. But even a primary school pupil can tell the work on that collapsed bridge was substandard.”
“Today we can openly say without fear of contradiction that it is the negligence of the county government officials that claimed the lives of people, leaving behind pain and regret among families and neighbours,” said Gori.
He said for record purposes, all bridges that serve Ongata Rongai and Kiserian including those on the main Magadi road, do not quality to be called bridges.
“Referring like so will be dignifying corruption and incompetence. What we have are death traps, only waiting for the next rainy season to claim more lives,” said the chairman.
He said during the ongoing long rains, the residents of the area have experienced unnecessary loss of lives as pedestrians and motorists alike are swept away on over topped bridges and flashfloods on what is supposed to be a major inter-county road.