30,000 evicted in Kibera to pave way for Sh2b road

Demolition of buildings along path of proposed highway begins amid outcry from residents, civil society

The quest to establish the missing link between Ngong and Lang’ata has kicked off in earnest after earth movers flattened structures in the affected area under the watch of armed guards.

With the anticipation of resistance from the residents, armed police officers manned the demolition but the exercise went on peacefully.

Demolition was scheduled to start last Monday but Kenya Urban Rural Authority (KURA) and National Building Inspectorate (NIB) extended the deadline by a week.

It is estimated that at least 30,000 Kibera residents are affected by the ongoing demolition of structures on the path of the proposed Sh2 billion link road.

Stop eviction

Some residents termed the demolition “the highest level of betrayal” by the government with human rights activists urging the State to stop eviction.

Ben Ooko, founder of Amani Kibera initiative, said the government failed to honour part of its bargain to give residents more time relocate.

“The State had promised not to demolish schools but none is standing,” he said.

Makina Self-help Primary School and Adventure Pride Centre were taken down in the early morning exercise. Egesa Children’s Centre, a children’s home, was also affected.

Amnesty International (AI) expressed  concern over the exercise and urged the State to stop the demolitions and complete enumeration of all affected people and the resettlement action plan agreed upon last week.

“The demolitions and eviction betray the agreement reached by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the National Land Commission to undertake a rapid Resettlement Action Plan (RAP),”said AI-Kenya executive director Irungu Houghton.

Meanwhile, the over 4,000 victims of last Thursday’s demolitions on the controversial East African Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) land in Mavoko sub-county of Machakos county have refuted claims by police that the evictions were effected to flush out criminals.

Speaking to the press yesterday, the Ndama Mavoko Welfare Society members, led by chairman Paul Wambua maintained that they are law-abiding squatters, who pay taxes.

“Being poor is not criminal. This is our ancestral land in which we have been operating for more than 30 years,” said Wambua.

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