Residents of Baharini village in Ndivisi ward in Webuye East Sub County have given the county government of Bungoma a seven day notice to find a way of constructing the bridge at Magemo dam or they break the banks and allow the water out of the dam.
Addressing the media at the dam, residents led by Linet Simiyu a trader at Misikhu market said the bridge is very important as it links three villages; Magemo, Misikhu and Baharini which plays key role in the economic of the three villages and Webuye East constituency as a whole.
She says the bridge which was constructed sometimes back by villagers after it broke down has now been carried away by water due to heavy rains in the area for the last one month and that has made it hard for people and especially students from the said villages and traders to access schools and markets.
“I stay around here and it has been hard for me to go to the market and my children cannot access schools either because the bridge has been carried away by the water from the dam that broke its banks and this has endangered the lives of people who live in this place and are now living in fear mostly because of their children who use the road almost every day to and from school and some have been rescued by good Samaritans and if the rain continues this way and nothing happens then we are sitting on a time bomb “said Mrs Simiyu.
They added that children and old people are the most affected and its more worse when one is sick or there is funeral in the said areas, most people would use people’s homes as routes to help them take the patients to the hospital or mourn with their relatives or friends.
One resident pointed out that most of the pupils and students are at home as they cannot endanger their lives by crossing the risky bridge and that may end up affecting their academic records and have appealed for quick interventions from the county government of Bungoma which they say have kept mum even after complaining for a long period before it was carried because they had seen some signs of it being carried away.
One of the residents who is on the committee of the dam said the prime purpose of coming up with the dam was due to getting water for their animals and it was an idea that generated from the community itself and when devolution came, they requested the previous county government to reconstruct the dam and make it risk free for residents which the government accepted and awarded the tender but the work done was shoddy and the contractor was not keen on the best place to construct the bridge.
He added that changing the inlets and outlets was the beginning of the problem and that weakened the bridge since then transportation and accessibility of the three areas has remained a big problem all through especially during rainy season.
They said the dam issues have for a long time been used as a political tool with every politician who visits the three villages promising to help them find a lasting solution and making it possible for them to access water for irrigation and use in their homes but all has been in vain.
They complained that leadership of Webuye East has failed them even after visiting the dam and seeing what they are going through and many a times have promised that funds have been set aside for the maintenance of the dam but so far nothing has happened.
They have called on their area MCA Martin Pepela Wanyonyi, Bungoma County Special Programmes advisor Caro Buyela, CEC youths, sports and culture Mrs. Everline Kakai and Webuye East constituency leadership to work together and see that modern bridge is constructed and the dam fenced to avoid people from falling into the dam as it has been happening.
They have given the government of Bungoma County seven days ultimatum that if they fail to implement what they have been promising then they will let water out of the dam as its not helping them at all.
” We are also taxpayers and we expect nothing less than proper services and not just empty promises and if they don’t take action in the next seven days then we will tamper with the dam banks and let water out as a way of sending our message to the government because we don’t want to wait for death, ” concluded one of the angry residents.