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Traders at Opar Sirinde Market in West Alego, Siaya County on Sunday undertook repairs on a high-mast lighting pole set up by the County Government within the market.

The traders said they were fed up with the lethargy of the Siaya County Government whom they have numerously petitioned to undertake repairs to no avail.

“It’s close to six months now since we complained about repairs through the area MCA Judy Okumu,” said a trader, adding “First we only had issues with a few of the bulbs on the high-mast lighting. As of last month, they all went out plunging the market and its environs into total darkness. We cannot take the risk of staying in darkness this festive season.”

The villagers who accuse area MCA Felix Ouma Okumu (Judy) of showing indifference to their plight have now engaged one of their sons who is an expert in electrical engineering for repairs.

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Sirinde village in Kaugagi-Udenda sub-location of West Alego Ward is ensconced between Mahero and Hawinga. Recently radicalised youth attacked and killed a police officer who was escorting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary (KCSE) exams at Mahero Secondary School and were later flushed out by police at a hideout in the Nina area of Hawinga.

“You can therefore understand the security implication,” said social activist Matthew Ashers who runs a business in the vicinity.

Last year the Kenya Power and Lightning Company  (KP&LC) removed a transformer within the market for three months and lawlessness and insecurity prevailed forcing businesses to shut down.

The County Security team has resolved to set up a police post at the nearby Hawinga market.

By the time of going to press the angry traders stood around the technician in frustration as they were told all the filaments on the eight bulbs of the mast were “burned out”. Conservatively each bulb costs KES 17,000.

The traders are now tired of appealing to the county government who pays a deaf ear to their plight and have resolved to petition President Dr William Samoei Ruto through Interior CS Raymond Omollo.

Meanwhile, a recent nationwide poll on the performance of Governors placed Siaya Governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo among the top 20 at number fifteen. One of the outstanding achievements that merited his placement was the high-mast lighting project jointly sponsored and installed by the World Bank and the County Government of Siaya in 2015 during the tenure of his predecessor Cornell Rasanga Amoth.

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