In a recent announcement, Mombasa County Governor, Ali Hassan Joho said that residents will witness major infrastructure expansion that is to take place between now and 2016. It will be an ambitious project that will see hundreds of residents in the Changamwe constituency evicted.
However he assured that those affected by that move will be compensated. This eviction will be paving way for the road connecting Moi International Airport and the Central Business District. The infrastructure expansion is a plan that will see a four-lane road from the airport to the CBD with a flyover. Recently, there have been chronic traffic jams along Makupa Causeway because of the lorries and trailers. The announcement could not have come at a better time.
Of course queries would arise from the local people with some supporting the project whilst others condemning it.
“It is a fine project but it will displace alot of people. The government should have thought about expansion years ago. Why now?” said Mutua, a kiosk owner along airport road.
Winnie, a resident in Changamwe had this to say,
“I am totally for it. Its about time this road was fixed. Imagine tourists coming from the airport and the first thing they witness about Mombasa is the long traffic jams accompanied by the scorching heat. Its a disgrace that we’ve been living like this. Change is good and it better happen fast.”
It is quite clear most of the residents who were interviewed feared being evicted. But in his announcement, Mr. Joho assured full compensation. He further insisted that this expansion project was irreversible and that he would do everything to see it through. When asked about the compensation, residents had this to say…
“It depends with how much they pay us. The money has to be equivalent to the value of the land and the lives of the people who live on it.” Musyoka, a hardware shop owner.
John, a resident in Changamwe said
“We are happy about the infrastructure change and if it means people being compensated for it to go through, then let the people get paid. After all this project is going to benefit both the residents and the county as a whole.”
As the debate gets heated up about the impending change, the local residents are hopeful it will be a change for the good of the county.