A row is brewing between residents of Mbondoni village, Mbeere South Sub County and Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA) over massive evictions from the land that borders Masinga dam on Monday.
This comes after 28 households from Githecu, Mwanyani, Muthithu, Twanyoni and Masai-cross areas got eviction orders, from the land that Tarda claims it owns.
TARDA manages and develops areas that border Tana and Athi Rivers and fear that there has been massive encroachment on the rivers where residents have settled to do irrigation.
The residents held peaceful demonstrations within Mbondoni market vowing that they won’t move out from an area they have lived their entire life.
Beth Mwikali, a widow, is a victim of the orders and despite living in Kithesu area for 40 years, she is now staring at the possibility of waving goodbye to a piece of land she inherited from her husband.
I have resisted several attempts to evict me from my land. All my family is here and they know nowhere else. Where do they expect us to go? she asked.
They accused the County’s top leadership and national government coordinators for colluding with TARDA to harass and for failing to protect them and their property.
David Musau, a resident and a member of Nyumba Kumi in Mbondoni area said they are now living in fear and attacks from people they believe want to displace them and now has called on the government to respond to their grievances.
The local leadership has failed to come to our help and might be working with Tarda to flush us out, claimed Paul Kamau, a resident.
The land has been contentious, with claims of lack of compensation by TARDA to the residents to relocate.
Makima MCA, Philip Nzangi appealed to TARDA to stop the evictions and allow for dialogue, to look for a long standing solution.
He said it was wrong to flush residents out of their land this time they were preparing their land readying for the rains.
Makima residents have suffered a lot in connection to land given that they are victims of the Mwea land scheme and Tarda where in both instances are staring at a possibility of evictions. The Government should intervene and give them ownership to the land, he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency