We’re out of essential services, say Metropolitan neighbours

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Security officers man a roadblock at Lari area on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway Photo/PD/TABITHA MBATIA

Mathew Ndung’u, Mutuku Mwangangi and Christine Musa

Residents living in areas neighbouring Nairobi metropolitan area, which was sealed off on Monday by the government, are grappling with lack of essential services such as banks, markets and hospitals after they were blocked from accessing towns where they have been accessing the services.

  The affected areas include sections of lower Murang’a where residents rely on Thika town, section of Machakos where residents depend on Tala and Athi River shopping centres as well as Kajiado where some residents can no longer access Kiserian town.

Some of the residents living in Gatanga have been relying on Thika town, where some run businesses, were locked out of the town after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive saw police erect a roadblock at Blue Post blocking entrance to the town.

Most businesses in Thika remained closed after proprietors found themselves locked out of the town by State directive, with residents mostly from the Murang’a side with nowhere to seek services.

Adult and child psychologist Gladys Chania, a resident of Thika, and who is supporting the banning of the movement to tame COVID-19 spread, said most business, whose owners are residents of Murang’a, have been affected.

“Most of the people who run businesses in the town, especially the stores as well as senior employees in the corporates in the town, live in estates located in Murang’a,” said Chania.

Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina said the enforcement of the travel ban along Thika-Garrisa road, one of the busy roads in the area, had been done poorly leading to a major inconvenience.

“It is regrettable that somebody chooses to place a road block at ICT Landless contrary to the gazetted border of Nairobi metropolitan at Makutano in Kilimambogo…we want to have it at Dillons, Ngoliba so we don’t have to divide the constituency,” said Wainaina.

In Machakos, residents of Lukenya, Kenanie, Kyumbi and Muthwani  have been depending on Athi River shopping centre for goods and services while residents in Kantafu, Malaa and Koma depend of Tala Shopping centre which are now inaccessible.

 Residents of Kajiado West Sub-county were also cut off from accessing essential services in Kiserian. 

Area MP George Sunkuyia said residents of Magadi, Shompole, Lodaria, Saikeri, Corner-Baridiand Ewuaso-Kedong areas can no longer access banks as all the main banks are in Kiserian town. 

“I fully support the President in his quest to keep our country safe.  However, Kiserian town has been cut off from the rest of Kajiado West yet it is the main town with banks and markets. I appeal to the President to consider the plight of the residents,” he said.

Kajiado County Commissioner, Joshua Nkanatha warned residents against disobeying the directive, adding that anyone caught trying to cross illegally to the Nairobi would be arrested and charged.

Meanwhile, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho yesterday said  the government had increased the number of roadblocks within  Central region.

Speaking when inspected various roadblocks  mounted in the region, Kibicho who said they increased the roadblocks by 20, also revealed that all security officers were under instructions  to effect the new directive by 8pm yesterday.

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