Poor road puts Pandanguo village,Lamu on frequent lock downs

Pandanguo residents fleeing the area in the aftermath of the 2014 attacks.The area has been on lockdown from essential services from the poor road PHOTO:COURTESY

Lamu,KENYA:The poor state of the 21 Kilometre  Witu –Pandanguo road has put Pandanguo village on lockdown from essential services over the past few months.

The Pandanguo village is home to over 2000 people all of whom solely depend on the Witu-Pandanguo main road to travel outside the village.

Due to the bad state of the road, the community has been left out of major national government operations including the issuance of vaccinations and even political campaigns.

Speaking to the media in their Pandanguo village on Friday, the villagers said they had been forced to stay in their villages unable to travel anywhere due to the dilapidated road that’s rendered totally impassable during whenever it rains, a common occurrence in the area.

Early 2017, the national government had announced plans to commence rehabilitation of the road which falls under areas where the Linda Boni Security Operation is being conducted by among other security units, the KDF since 2015.

Locals, however, say since then nothing has happened.

Pandanguo village elder Adan Golja said the situation has shut out vehicles that would normally bring in relief food aid to the villagers leaving them at no one’s mercy.

“The only thing that happened is that a few lorries of stones were brought and that was it, nothing else has happened. We used to have relief aid vehicles frequenting the village and bring us food, nowadays that’s doesn’t happen at all and when we tried calling to find out, they told us it’s because of the bad road,”said Golja.

A spot check by Baraka Fm revealed a few heaps of murram which elders say were put on the road in 2017.

The community in Pandanguo has urged the national government to rehabilitate then 21 Kilometre Witu-Pandanguo road which is currently dilapidated and impassable.

This comes as security forces try to battle Alshabaab militants who police believe are hiding inside Boni Forest.

Earlier in the week, 10 militants were killed by KDF forces officers in Taskile area of the village.

However, the elders feel even the state of security in the region will improve immensely with the rehabilitation of the road.

They wondered why the national government was pushing for completion of national projects elsewhere but not in their area.

“What exactly is the problem that they can’t rehabilitate this road, is it funds or pure marginalization because it’s the Bonis involved? The government should know better than completion of the road will definitely boost security if that’s really what they want to achieve in this region,” said Ali Sharuti, another Boni elder.

The Boni community has for decades accused successive governments of marginalizing them and denying them major services.

The community considers themselves marginalized and abandoned.