Residents of the upcoming Barclays Bank Staff SACCO estate are grateful to their new neighbour- the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) – who have literally pitched camp among them as the Ongata Rongai SGR construction camp is situated here.
Visitors may not appreciate this communal feeling unless they take a moment at the new bridge the company has build over the seasonal Kandisi River.
Under the bridge, water trickles slowly, from one pool to the next; the only sign of the watery tempest that was the river two weeks ago.
‘Things are a bit better now’ says Kimani, a long time area resident. ‘I remember the 2013 rains, that was before these people came [the Chinese contractors], I once spent five hours on the other side as I waited for the water to subside so that I could cross over’ he elaborates.
The bridge joins residents of this upcoming estate at Olootepes, Kajiado East constituency and their Kandisi neighbours of Kajiado North constituency near Ongata Rongai town.
This is a dry area; the soil cover is thin; hard impervious rock barely three feet below the black cotton soil surface. In some areas, two weeks after the heavy rains that were witnessed here; the grass is golden yellow- drying up.
Near the water edge, scraggy bushes lean downstream- bare branches; their leaves were torn off by the raging storm waters.
“This bridge is a blessing’, Says Gitonga, a bodaboda rider who has lived in the area all his life. He used to operate from Ongata Rongai but has set up base at the Metropolitan Shopping area near the bridge.
‘Sometime ago’, Gitonga says, ‘people shied away from settling in the area because getting here during the rains was difficult, but nowadays homeowners are pouring in; even rental houses are coming up’. He can now make enough from the estate’s Boda Boda ‘base’.
(Komu, CCCC SGR Section 1 Liaison Officer)