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Athi River Businessmen, Land Owners Cry Foul Over Delayed Compensation

More than 1, 000 business and property owners along a section of road earmarked for dualing on Athi River/ Machakos turnoff are demanding for compensation.

Some of the buildings on Mombasa Road that will come down to pave way to dual carriage.

The business people mainly in Ngimo area, along Mombasa Road, told KNU on Tuesday all the valuation was completed late last year by the National Land Commission but have not heard a word from them.

Most of them, who are land owners and petrol stations, claimed NLC had promised to compensate loss of their businesses and land property by last February.

“We have not heard from them ever since they gave us forms to sign. Anxiety and uncertainty has hit us because we do not know when our buildings will be brought down,” said Collins Odhiambo.

Odhiambo, who is a welder, said more than 1, 000 people who include land owners and petrol pump stations do not understand how to go about demanding their money.

But NLC valuer, Salome Munubi, distanced the commission from any blame saying they did their part and now the ball is in the Kenya National Highway Authority’s coat.

“We are not in that picture at all because we did the valuation and handed over everything to KeNHA. KeNHA is the acquiring authority, so let those claiming money to understand our role,” said Munubi.

When we contacted KeNHA spokesperson Charles Njogu, he said it is true the authority has processed the payments.

Njogu said KeNHA is waiting for the exchequer to release the money so that it can be forwarded to NLC for onward transmission to beneficiaries.

Chinese firm, China Railway 21st Bureau Group Company, was awarded the lucrative contract to construct a dual carriage between Athi River and Machakos turn off on Mombasa road.

The work started last year and is expected to cost the tax payers Sh5.3 billion.

Contracts for the work were signed by the Chinese firm and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) in Nairobi.

The project is financed by the World Bank and the Kenya Government under the Kenya Transport Sector Support projects (KTSSP) and was expected to take a period of 18 months to complete.

The section covers some 20 kilometers.

Once completed, it will be expected to facilitate smoother traffic flow between Machakos turnoff and Athi River, and between Athi River and Northern Corridor from Mombasa to Nairobi.

The road will have three separated interchanges at Athi River town, Daystar University and Road Junction to Mua Hills.

There will also be an eight kilometer of service roads on either side of the main carriage at Athi River town.

Two new roads will be built across Athi River and Stony Athi River in addition to six pedestrian crossings along the project road.

In addition to improved drainage structures and safety features, the Chinese will also install street lighting.

 

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