Transport along the busy Ganze-Kilifi Road was paralyzed for hours after PSV operators blocked the in protest of its poor state.
The operators, mainly from the matatu industry decried that they have been making loses from constant break downs due to the state of the road.
They barricaded the road and burnt tyres to block any vehicle from going to Ganze or Kilifi.
They later planted banana trees on the road likening the road to a farm.
Ali Mwinyi who plies the Kilifi-Ganze-Bamba road, complained that the road is almost impassable especially during the rainy season.
“From Kilifi to Bamba it’s only a one and a half hour drive but because of the condition of the road we now use four hours. Every time you make a trip to Bamba and back you have to take your vehicle to the mechanic for repairs. We hardly make profits as all the money we make goes for the vehicle maintenance. We want the road to be marrumed because we understand tarmacking may be expensive,” said Mwinyi.
The distance between Bamba to Kilifi is 56 Kilometres. A section of the road from Cassava to Ganze town is under the county government while the other section from Ganze town to Bamba is under national government.
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Mwinyi said last week a woman had to give birth inside a matatu after it got stuck on mud for hours.
“The woman was going to Kilifi because she was on labour pains. The matatu she had boarded got stuck on the road because of the heavy down pour. When the time to deliver came she had no option but to deliver inside the matatu. We thank God she did not have any complication,” said Mwinyi
Similar sentiments were shared by Nixon Ruwa who narrated how a patient died in an ambulance that was also caught in the messy road.
“When it rains even light showers then there is no way you can use this road. We have complained to our leaders for a very long time but nothing is done. What they do is to toss us from one leader to the other. When you go to the county government they tell you the road belongs to national government. We pay taxes and what we want is the road to be maintained. We do not want spot murraming but the whole road should be murramed,” said Ruwa
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Samson Baraka accused the government of neglecting the road which connects Ganze constituency to Kilifi north constituency where the county headquarters are situated.
“Most government services are found in Kilifi town but due to the road people cannot access the twon. We want the government whether county or national to come to our rescue and repair this road.
Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire said he is pushing for the tarmacking of the road and denied that the matatu drivers have visited his office over the matter.
“I have sent two vital proposals for roads tarmacking to KeRRA which are the Bamba – Ganze – Kilifi and Kilifi- Matanomane – Vitengeni – Katendewa – Bamba. They never consulted me neither did I knew before it happened but it was great because they observed peace. We call it active nonviolent in lobbying and advocacy,” said Mwambire
The protestors cleared the road after five hours when the Ganze sub county police commander Patrick Ngeiywa arrived at the scene and talked to them.
“As much as I acknowledge this road is in a poor state closing it will not make it good. The best thing is to go to the relevant offices to seek audience with the leaders. You have a right to demonstrate but you must notify us of which you have not done. Because you are peaceful people please just open the road and follow the right channel,” said Ngeiywa.
Most commuters expressed concerns that the looming poverty in the sub county has been largely contributed by the poor road network. They pointed that the road is instrumental in the development of the area.