A row is brewing in Kiambogo village in Buuri, Meru County, after a section of residents blocked a major road.
The blockage led to the death of a villager Andrew Baariu efforts to take him to hospital in Timau town failed. The road, which links the village to Timau town, was blocked by people who claimed it was going through their farms.
Children who go to school on the other side of the road have been forced to stay at home and a section of residents cannot access the Kiambogo dispensary after those who blocked the road refused to let them go through their farms.
Yesterday, Timau Ward MCA George Kimathi said a county government road grader had ceased murraming the road because one section was blocked.
“The area the road passes through was donated by elders who have since died. A project to grade the road has stalled because of the stand-off between the residents,” said Mr Kimathi.
Locals Julius Mwongera, Joel Mwariama, Joseph Mugambi and Nancy Kinya on Monday said large sections of the area which has a population of at least 6,000 cannot access schools, hospitals and other amenities.
“Children and teachers cannot go to Kiambogo primary and Blessed Allamano Academy. We also cannot go to Kiambogo dispensary,” said Mr Mwongera.
The residents want the national and county governments to move with speed to forestall the dispute from escalating.
“One person has already died because we could not take him to hospital. We are appealing to the Government to have the road mapped officially for us to resume our activities,” said Ms Kinya.
Kinya said the standoff has caused animosity among villagers.
David Kirimi, the chairman of the local dairy society, said they could not take their produce to the collection centres as a result of the closed road.
“We cannot get out of the village because those who have closed the road cannot even allow us to go through their farms. Some have to walk a very long distance to reach the other side,” said Mr Kirimi.
Joel Mwariama, the chairman of the local development committee, castigated those who closed the road.
“The county government had set aside Sh7 million to upgrade the road because it is providing access to many important amenities. But it seems a few people do not want it,” Mr Mwariama said.
In a petition to the Buuri Sub-county Deputy Commissioner, the community said they needed the issue resolved expeditiously.
“The constant resistance from some of the plot owners has brought an unwanted conflict,” the letter said.