Nicholas Muchami decided to turn the bushy, hilly area into a road to enable residents in Kaganda village, 80 kilometres from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, avoid a long walk to a shopping centre in the area.
Local media say residents were using an earlier road, but that has since been blocked by the landowner who accused the villagers of trespassing on his property. The public or official road they could use was covered with bushes, making it impassable.
Residents were then compelled to use a longer route, about four kilometres to the shopping centre. Local authorities had marked the public road for completion five years ago, but work on it was yet to start.
Muchami, who is a casual labourer, decided to sacrifice and dig the road on his own. With just a hoe, spade, an axe, Muchami woke up daily as early as 6 am and work until 6 pm and has so far cleared 1.5km (one mile) in six days, according to the BBC.
He has about half a kilometre to go before completing the road, but residents are already hailing him as a hero for his work. He told the Daily Nation that he had made constant pleas to local authorities to work on the road, but they were yet to respond.
“I had made desperate appeals to the local leaders to have the road built but all in vain. It was then that I decided to build it using my farm tools for the sake of women and children and to save time,” he said.
Muchami, who usually does odd jobs in the village, said people were surprised that he took that action.
“When I was working on the road, people would ask me, ‘Are you being paid’?” he was quoted by the BBC.
Even though he is yet to complete the work, what he has worked on so far is being used by locals, including students attending the nearby primary and secondary schools.
“Now it has made people happy, and I am happy too. My work has helped people of all kinds,” he said.
Muchami’s story was first brought to light on Facebook by Ndagitari Kinyungu Micheke Jnr, who posted photos of his work and praised him.
Watch details below:
Nicholas Muchami takes the government's work into his hands and digs a 1.5km road. pic.twitter.com/TYBVcxVAfa
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) April 9, 2019