OMUTHIYA – The Omuthiya Town Council has reconsidered its earlier decision to upgrade Kaniita informal settlement and to instead provide plots where the community can build their structures.
Mayor John Ndeutepo confirmed the new developments.
“As council, we have reconsidered our decision and we saw it fit to relocate these people to a permanent place where all services are provided so that each [of them] can have a plot where they can construct their own permanent structures. This opposed to the earlier plan to upgrade the informal area by providing basic services,” said Ndeutepo.
“We have identified Extension 4, an area next to Shack Dweller’s Federation, and work has already started. We have begun with planning, to be followed by installation of services. Our aim is to give the people the plots – while at the same time, we are providing all the necessary services, such as sewerage, water, roads and electricity.”
There are 145 households whose owners were legitimately given land – and a further 143 illegal settlers. The area is overcrowded, with no ablution facilities, so residents have to use the bush when nature calls. There is also no electricity.
Asked what prompted the sudden change, Ndeutepo said they did not want to end up with another informal settlement; hence, they could not also leave residents at Kaniita, as it is being properly planned for another township.
Council resolved to reopen the previously shut community toilet and decided to refurbish it. A quotation and materials have been sourced.
Ndeutepo made these remarks in a telephonic interview, in which New Era was inquiring on the progress made so far in uplifting the living standards of the community, in contrast to the announcement made in early February. At the time, the mayor said council was planning to install electricity in each household, improve sanitation by constructing flushing toilets as well as water points.
The Kaniita informal settlement serves as a reception area where anyone can be temporarily accommodated.
The majority of residents have been those who were relocated when Omuthiya was proclaimed a town in an effort to pave way for development.