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Kijiji slum fire victims reject rebuilding plan

Lilian Mutavi @PeopleDailyKe

Victims of Kijiji slum fire in Lang’ata have rejected a new plan that would have seen the Nairobi county government rebuild their houses. The inferno, which occurred two weeks ago, left many families homeless and they have been camping at Ngei Primary School, relying on aid from well-wishers.

Speaking at the school, Kijiji chairman Abdulahi Ahmed said the city county planning department had delayed presenting the reconstruction plan to them. The victims rejected the city’s plan when it was presented to them last Thursday.

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

Their demand for three roads has raised questions given that ambulances and fire fighters were unable to deliver aid to the area during the inferno because of inaccessibility. Legal action Ahmed said victims 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 material to start the reconstruction. Area MP Nixon Korir assured the victims that, in the next two weeks, they will have returned to their homes. Meanwhile, fire gutted down 60 houses in Raila village in Kibera.

Korir said that lack of access to the slum posed a challenge to the fire-fighters county government. The cause of the noon inferno was not immediately established, but some residents and leaders suspect an electrical fault. The fire was put out after about one hour. “The fire fighters arrived here in less than 20 minutes and were very swift to put out the fire. It would have been very bad,” said Korir.

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