A strike by the Lamu county workers which started last week entered its eighth day on Thursday, and its impact was evident, with stinking and garbage-littered streets and pavements.
The workers are demanding permanent employment and a radical improvement in their working conditions, and have vowed not to resume work until these demands are met.
They absconded duty on February 5, and have since presented their grievances to governor Issa Timamy, who promised to address them.
Their spokesman, Nambani Karisa, said many of them had worked at the county for decades under the municipal council system, and that majority were still paid as little as 500 shillings monthly to date.
“I have been doing this job since 2004. We have children to pay fees for, rent, food and much more. Tell me how I can do all that with 5000 shillings,” said Karisa.
The workers are also accusing the county government of overworking them and denying them day-offs, annual leave and rest on public holidays.
Governor Timamy unsuccessfully tried to convince them to resume work, as they walked away on him.
“We are doing all in our power to ensure this is sorted out. I will hold a meeting with all the workers on Friday and find a way forward,” said the governor.