Kenyan villager clears way for new road – by hand

Kenyan villager clears way for new road – by hand
Aerial view of the village of Kaganda in Kenya

Beginning a new road usually requires massive equipment such as bulldozers and excavators, but for 45-year-old Nicholas Muchami, all it takes is a spade, a hoe and an axe.

Using hand tools, Muchami has been clearing a path for a road through the thick bush in his village, Kaganda, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.

Due to poor roads, residents in rural areas in Kenya — like Muraga County where Kaganda is located — are forced to use use longer routes to get to shops and other amenities.

The road in Muchami’s village was marked for completion five years ago by local leaders, but work on it had yet to start. So he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Muchami’s story was highlighted on Facebook by Ndagitari Kinyungu Micheke Jnr, who posted photos of the ongoing work, and praised Muchami for his relentlessness. The Facebook post says Muchami had already cleared about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile).

“I approached the … county assembly and they did not respond by making the road. I felt frustrated and went ahead to do it myself,” Muchami told CNN.

He has half a kilometer to go before completing the road, and has been hailed as a hero by neighbors for his efforts in making travel easier for villagers.

“The locals are happy with me, and I am happy too,” Muchami said. Even though the road is not finished yet, residents have started using the section that has been cleared, he said.

Muchami said he has been promised that local authorities will gravel the road.

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