Construction work on the Kitui-Kibwezi road could be delayed after some Kitui South residents objected to plans by the contractor to draw water from a local dam.
Plans by the Chinese firm, Sinohydro Corporation, to tap water from Kyatune dam has been met with stiff resistance from local people.
Speaking to journalists at Kyatune Chief’s camp on Wednesday , the residents said the dam was their sole source of water for both domestic and livestock and expressed fears that plans by the Chinese firm to tap the commodity would lead to the dam drying up.
They sensationally accused area legislator Rachael Nyamai and Mutomo Deputy County Commissioner Jeremiah Tumo of colluding with their Chief Kyambati King’ondu to grant the firm the green light to use water from the dam without consulting them.
We suspect that our MP and the administrators are behind this scheme but we won’t allow the contractor to draw water from the dam because it is our only hope. Let them find an alternative source of water and leave us in peace, said Jonathan Kumala, speaking on behalf of area residents.
He further claimed the leaders had tricked some of the residents into consenting to the plan so as to create the impression that the entire local community consented.
Added Kumala roadworks require huge volumes of water which means the reservoir will be sucked dry in no time and leave us without water.
The locals, however, expressed their willingness to comply with the plan provided the contractor commits to provide them with an alternative source of clean and safe water beforehand.
Efforts to get a comment from the Chief bore no fruits as he flatly declined to speak to the media and told reporters to leave him alone.
Reached for comment, Mr. Tumo dismissed the wananchi sentiments as baseless and unfounded allegations which are politically fuelled to tarnish my name and that of the area legislator.
There is no way I can force the community to surrender their water without prior consultation and consequent consent. I have never called for a public baraza in Kyatune to discuss the alleged issue with the locals, he told KNA on phone.
Ms.Nyamai, on the other hand, did not pick calls or respond to text messages seeking her comments on the matter.
Source: Kenya News Agency