KNA When 85 years old Mary Muthoni Gathiani died a week ago, her relatives suddenly realized that they had a job to do, to ferry her body for more than two kilometers on their shoulders to her resting place due to bad footpaths.
This happened yesterday under the worst circumstances of heavy fog and chilly weather currently being experienced in Nyeri County. So step by step the relatives trudged on occasionally changing hands until they arrived at her home.
This is at Thuriru village in Kirimukuyu ward in Mathira Constituency, the forgotten village where a group of villagers have encroached even footpaths making it difficult for most of villagers to access their homes even for special occasions like burials.
Narrating their ordeal to the press, the villagers said that trouble for them struck after demarcation in 1952 when some villagers started encroaching on the feeder road which has now been reduced to a footpath.
“We as residents of this village have suffered for a longtime in fact when we lose someone we have to assist in carrying caskets on our back, even when one of us is seriously sick the same must happen we need the government to move in and save us,” said Julius Wahome Ngunyi.
Ngunyi who has buried at least four of his relatives says that they have held meetings with leaders including members of provincial administration but each time some rich families involved always block reopening of the road.
”We have not numerously tried to solve this problem but we always end up losing since these rich families especially those who live near the tarmack compromise county officials so nothing happens,” said Ngunyi.
Speaking on the same day, former Assistant Chief Kingori Wanjau says that during his tenure he tried to reopen the road but to no avail adding that the villagers’ plight can be addressed if all leaders forge a common approach to the issue.
“It’s pathetic that Kenyans at this age and time can have this problem but it’s not that it cannot be solved but laxity among leaders is the main cause of this delay,” said Kingori.
Kirimukuyu ward MCA Muriithi Ndagita said the matter is being handled at the Registrar of Lands office and before the year ends the residents at the slopes will have an access road.
He called on area residents to pave way for construction of the feeder road noting that some are acting as obstacles due to their personal interests of grabbing and encroaching the 20 feet road.