Gatundu North residents in Kiambu County chased away workers constructing a ksh. 24 billion Karimenu II Dam project. They claim that they are yet to be compensated by the government for the land they surrendered which was valuing around ksh.2.2 billion
Being a reasonable crowd, the angry residents forced those operating the excavator to dig trenches at the key points of entry and exit thereafter, ordering all the workers in the construction to leave the site.
During the incident which took place on Tuesday, the police officers called to the scene, watched helplessly as the irate crowd took control of operations.
The disputed land is estimated to be measuring 383 acres.
One of the victim residents, Mr Kamau Gathanji, said that they were astounded to see a contractor on site, when they had not yet received any money as compensation from the State.
The crowd of hundreds claimed that most of them have been reduced to destitution due to lack of money. They said that some of them took loans to acquire new land and build new homes and are now unable to pay the loans waiting for the State to compensate them.
Jane Wanjiru, a resident also, said that she had to mobilised her entire family to participate in the protests.
Another victim by the name Regina Wanjiru, said that the contractor had already completed a diversion tunnel and intake tower foundation which was an indication of more land being surrendered to the government yet the first group was yet to be paid.
The locals are now requesting the National Lands Commission and the Athi Water Services, which is overseeing the construction, to represent them in the compensation dialogue.
The Dam project which began in the year 2019, will serve the neighbourhoods of Thika, Juja, Ruiru and parts of Nairobi when completed.
The estimated 59-meter dam project has been scheduled to be completed in June of 2022.
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