Residents protest over poor state of Oyugis-Kisii highway

Kisii-Oyugis road

A boda boda rider navigates his way on the Kisii-Oyugis highway after angry residents barricaded the road on January 23, 2023.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Transport along the Kisii-Oyugis highway was paralysed for the better part of Monday morning after angry residents of the Nyamataro centre barricaded the highway to protest the delayed completion of the road.

The demonstrators lit bonfires and blocked the busy highway using boulders to express their dissatisfaction.

A section of the road that is less than a kilometre has remained undone for almost two years now after it was abandoned by a Chinese contractor.

The contractor is said to have withdrawn his equipment from the site, over unpaid dues.

Kisii- Oyugis road

Angry residents light bonfires on the Kisii-Oyugis highway on  January 23, 2023.

Photo credit: Ongari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Being one of the outskirts of Kisii town, where hundreds have established businesses and rented houses, billows of dust have been choking residents. 

“Washing clothes and hanging them outside is the worst thing you can do here. We wonder how they want us to live. If they cannot complete the road, why can’t they sprinkle water to save us from this misery?” Alfred Onsomu, a bodaboda operator wondered.

Children reporting to schools in Mosocho and those who were coming to Kisii town had to endure long hours on the road as the police sought to clear the way.

Kisii-Oyugis highway

A pedestrian runs near a barricade on the Kisii-Oyugis highway on January 23, 2023.

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Many businesses have since been closed due to the choking dust.

Butchery owners and hawkers are the worst hit as the dust makes its way into their premises.

"Our appeal to the national government is to fund this project and ensure it is done, we are not going to sit and watch as we suffer,” Ms Florence Bosire, a fruit vendor, averred.

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