Victims of Lang’ata kijiji fire reject rebuilding plan

Lillian Mutavi 

Victims of Kijiji slum fire in Lang’ata constituency, Nairobi, have rejected a new county plan that would have seen rebuilding of new structures begin.

The inferno, which occurred two weeks ago, left many families displaced and they have been living at Ngei Primary School relying on aid from individuals and organisations.

Speaking at the school, Kijiji chairman Abdulahi Ahmed claimed the delay in rebuilding was caused by the county planning department, which took long to draft the plan which is now in dispute.

“The county brought the plan on Thursday and after going through it we have disagreed and we want them to draft another one that we can adopt,” he said. Ahmed said the bone of contention was the 23 proposed access roads by the county government with residents saying only three are necessary.

Their demand for three access roads has raised questions given that ambulances and fire fighters were unable to deliver aid to the area when the fatal fire incident occurred. Ahmed also said owners of the burnt structures and the tenants were trying to sort out disagreements arising from the accident. He added that they were also pursuing legal action against a private developer claiming to own the land where the structures were built.

A site visit by People Daily showed that the government had delivered more than 200 iron sheets and the residents were waiting for other building materials before they could start rebuilding. Residents urged the National government to construct high-rise buildings once they acquire the title deed of the disputed land.

Area MP Nixon Korir said in the next two weeks the victims will have returned to their homes even as the Deputy President William Ruto pledged to give Sh70million to the victims. Meanwhile, fire gutted down 60 houses in Raila village in Kibera.

The fire that started around midday was controlled on time and did not spread to many houses. Korir said fire engines had to put out the fire from the Southern Bypass because the area is inaccessible.

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