By Ben Leshau
Residents of Majengo estate in the outskirts of Narok town have put authorities on the spot over billowing dust along the slum road after a contractor poured loose soil on the 10-Kilometre road wreacking havoc on their daily lives.
The locals claim that all was well in the activity-filled slum until a month ago when a contractor working on the sewerage system dumped the soil dug out of the pipe trenches on the road before leaving, turning their lives into misery.
The enraged locals who addressed journalists after a botched demonstration over the dust menace said businesses along the busy road had to close down as they could not sell due to the heavy dust puffed by motorists plying the road.
The residents had held a demonstration protesting over the road, but police moved swiftly and lobbed teargas canisters, dispersing them.
“We are suffering because of this dust. I used to operate a milk shop along this road, but when the contractor came and poured the soil customers stopped buying from me since the kiosk was dusty forcing me to close down and now I have nothing to do,” said Rose Adanje, a trader.
She said that apart from her shop, other businesses such as eateries have also been closed after public health officials declared place a health hazard due to the dust.
Residential houses along the road were also not spared by the dust as tenants in most of them have been forced to relocate after the dust rendered their estates inhabitable.
“Living around here is hell. You wash your clothes and hang them on the line, in the evening they will be even dirtier than before because of dust. You put on clean clothes in the morning and when you walk for few metres you are dusty,” said Sam Nyang’au, a resident.
He said some of the residents who work in offices in town have been forced to hire taxis to drop them at their work places in a bid to evade the dust.
The dust also according to the locals has adversely affected them healthwise especially children whom they say have suffer unending flu and coughing.
The locals have, however, called on authorities to tarmac the road as soon as possible to save them the agony of battling with the dust.
Contacted, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) County Director Patrick Lekenit acknowledged receiving complaints of dust pollution in the area from the locals, adding he had given the contractor a three-day ultimatum to to address the matter.
“I received the complaints yesterday and I have given them up to Friday to sort it out by sprinkling water daily failure to which we shall close down their operations,” said Mr Lekenit.