September 24, 2018

Fresh demolitions render thousands of Nairobi residents homeless

At least 10,000 Nairobians have been left homeless following demolitions.

The people were rendered homeless as the Nairobi County demolition exercise gained momentum in Makongeni.

According to the affected families, the demolitions began as early as 7am with tenants being given only two hours to vacate.

“Most of us were not prepared to be relocated leave alone have our structures demolished. The Government needs to understand that some of these structures are our source of livelihoods thanks to unemployment, so it should give people more time to vacate,” said Lilian Nyabate.

She further revealed that a contigent of police officers were deployed to guard the exercise as distraught owners watched on their structures being brought down.

Barely a fortnight ago, residents of Kibera suffered the same fate after 30,000 people were left homeless by the demolitions aimed at paving way for the construction of a road.

A notice from the National Building Inspectorate had directed that residents of Makongeni, Kaloleni, Mbotela, Mutindwa, Dandora and Kamae to vacate by August 1 to pave way for demolitions. The government agency had indicated that the demolitions were part of the Nairobi regeneration programme.

Through the notice, National Building Inspectorate secretary General, Moses Nyakiongora observed the exercise was aimed at clearing illegal structures along Power and Railway reserves.

“In order to avoid human rights injuries, loss of life and the damage of property associated with railway operations and high voltage electricity lines, public notice is hereby issued for the intended removal of all structures located along the Kenya Power and Railway reserves,” read the notice.

Leaders allied to the Opposition party, the National Super Alliance (NASA), had given the Government seven days to have compensated the affected families lest they moved to court.

Human rights groups have also called on the office of the President to exercise its authority and stop any ongoing or planned evictions by the ministry of Transport and the Kenya Urban Roads Authority until they have put in place resettlement action plans.

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