Building the railway met local resistance on various occasions. A major incident was the Kedong Massacre, when the Maasai attacked a railway worker’s caravan because two Maasai girls had been raped. In November 1895, the caravan left Murang’a for Eldama Ravine. The procession of about 1,100 comprised men, mostly porters from the Kikuyu community and the Swahili, tasked with delivering supplies across the hills and valleys to Ravine, which they successfully did, then embarked on the journey back home.
However, somewhere near Kedong, a quiet neighbourhood located a few kilometres from Naivasha town; unruly men who were part of the caravan raided a Maasai manyatta and kidnapped two women.
Maasai elders appealed to the porters to leave them alone and cease further provocation. But, perhaps emboldened by their large numbers, the porters decided to display their might by stealing cattle from the manyattas.
The Maasai waited for the rustling porters to leave and set up camp elsewhere, then, on November 26, launched their retaliatory attack, killing 555 members of the caravan.
Things, however, did not end there. After learning of the attack on his caravan, Andrew Dick, a transport and supplies businessman, enlisted the assistance of a French explorer in pursuing the Maasai. They caught up with the morans as they celebrated their victory and shot 100 of them. By the time things cooled off, more than 600 people lay dead. A commission of inquiry, probably the first in the history of the nation, was set up to look into the massacre. Its findings faulted the porters.