Fulugani residents in Kwale county who are at the centre of a controversy over the construction of Mwache Multi-Purpose Dam held a protest with threats to stop the project.
The project site is located about 22 kms west of Mombasa County within in the coastal region and the project is estimated to cost Sh 25 billion.
The residents carried placards and tree twigs as they threatened to frustrate the construction of the dam in Kinango constituency.
Led by the community chairman Mwambire Haranga they told journalists they have raised their concerns with relevant authorities but the government has turned a deaf ear.
He said apart from the compensation package they are entitled to a payment for the crops in their farms which the government has not honoured.
“We were promised to be given a disturbance allowance to start afresh on another land which has not yet been identified,” Haranga pointed out.
The village spokesperson told the media that after donating their lands for the project the contractor has put up a barrier so that the area residents’ movement has been restricted.
Village vice chairman Shaban Ndege said apart from the compensation package being peanuts they have also been denied employment opportunities at the ongoing project.
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He pointed out that employment opportunities have been dished out to outsiders yet they are the ones who have contributed their lands for the project to the government.
“An estimated 75 per cent of the affected persons are drawn from the village yet they are not have not benefited from the project,” he added.
The village vice chairman vowed they will not allow the construction of the project to take place if their demands are not met.
Shaban said they have threatened to close down the project as they demand for their rights.
He lashed out at the contractor for shortchanging them for not keeping his promise to create an alternative access road after blocking the bridge path by stationing police officers and private security guards.
A resident Chizi Chikoza who is one of those affected by the project told journalists that pupils at the local primary school are faced with a health hazard due to dust.
She demanded the government expedite the process of relocating 1,200 pupils to a temporary site as the dust from the project site has been affecting the pupils’ learning.
“Majority of the pupils are either absent from classes or are hospitalized due to the dust,” he added.