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Farmers' Fury Over Bad Roads

By George Kiaye, The Nation (Nairobi), 17 May 2001

Hundreds of tonnes of tea leaf worth millions of shillings is going to waste in Kisii and Nyamira districts because of bad roads.

Other crops affected by the inaccessible roads include bananas, pineapples,oranges, potatoes and vegetables as well as milk.

Most of the roads in the two districts require major repairs to facilitate the transportation of produce to the buying centres and markets.

Farmers complained that they have incurred heavy losses because they produce crops which do not reach the markets.

The farmers accused the government of being insensitive to their problems saying it had failed to maintain roads in the three districts.

They said many areas were inaccessible during the rains. Many of them sell their produce such as tea, bananas, fruits and even milk, on the road sides between Nyamira and Ikerenyo and between Chabera and Ikonge.

The area is also rich in cypress and other species of trees which are now faced with destruction by charcoal burners.

Farmers have appealed to the government to complete the controversial Chemosit-Kisii road to enable them to transport food and cash crops to Nyamira, Kisumu, Kisii and other urban centres.

They said farming was their main source of livelihood and it is therefore that the government improves infrastructure to stop crops going to waste.

"We produce a lot of crops. It is our passionate plea to the government to intervene and ensure access roads are maintained," said one of the farmers at Ikonge.

The also demanded the tarmacking of the Ikonge-Chabera road to enable horticultural farmers at the proposed Magwagwa electropower project area to transport their crops to Chabera and Kisumu.

Copyright 2001 The Nation. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).