While the kshs.25 billion Dongo Kundu bypass project is awaited for its expected economic benefits for people living around the project area in Mombasa and South Coast, men in these areas are a worried lot; that the dozens of Chinese workers expected to execute the project will lure and ‘steal’ their wives.
The Dongo Kundu bypass, also known as the Mombasa city southern bypass, is a proposed road and bridge project that will connect Mombasa Mainland (South and West) without entering Mombasa Island, and decongest Mombasa as an alternative to the Likoni ferry channel.
It measures about 16.2 km on the plan, from Miritini at the mainland to Ng’ombeni to the south mainland, and will consist of four bridges passing through swampy land and ocean.
Men in South Coast, where the Japanese-funded project will be implemented are however raising the red flag, depressed that Chinese workers on the project will seduce, sleep with their wives and father ‘alien’ children with them.
Reports of foreign workers allegedly winning over Kenyan women, have been registered before with other projects, including the Thika Super highway, and now, locals fear a repeat could occur on the Dongo Kundu chapter.
“We want our wives and daughters to know that those (Chinese) are coming here to work not to father children. We want to protect ourselves, our wives and our young daughters,” Mzee Zabed, a resident of Shika Adabu area in Likoni, where the bypass will intercept Likoni-Lunga Lunga Road, told Baraka FM.
Zabed says they are currently educating their wives and daughters on interacting with foreign workers, adding that most local women easily got swayed by light-skinned men they perceived to have money.
Such has been a big issue that the National Lands Commission Chairman (NLC), has had to intervene and allay these fears.
Mohamed Swazuri, the NLC chairman, who recently toured the area over compensation concerns for those whose land had be acquired for the project, said they had agreed with the Chinese contractor that their workforce would bring with them their own wives.
“…..because men cannot stay without women, they (chinese workers) should come with their wives,” Swazuri, said.
Men around Dongo Kundu are vowing to use all means necessary to keep their wives and daughters safe from the Chinese ‘predators’.
“We believe in ourselves, we call ourselves the Digo and we shall use all means to restrain our women from making the mistake of going to the Chinese,” Bakari Mohamed Mwanyenza, a village elder at Shika Adabu, says.
He warns that local women who fell into the trap would be banished from the community.
“If you get a white man (Chinese) go live with him but don’t come back here,” Mwanyenza threatens.
Local women who Baraka FM tried to speak to, remained tight-lipped on this subject, but a few expressly admitted they would give such an offer a thought.
“If your Kenyan man has nothing and doesn’t care, what would stop you from falling for a Chinese? Let them come. I will get myself one and no one will do anything,” Mwanaidi Aisha, 27, a lady living in Miritini, where the project will start, told Baraka FM.
“I only need to be careful not to get pregnant, unless the man is going back to China with me.”