Nairobi News

HashtagMust Read

5,000 residents left homeless after Njiru demolitions

More than 5,000 residents in Nairobi’s Njiru area have been left counting huge losses following demolitions being conducted in the area by the government to pave way for development projects.

The bulldozers descended on the houses leaving a trail of rubbles and debris in its wake as residents tried in vain to salvage the little they could.

Some of the affected homeowners watched helplessly from a distance as their houses went down as it was too late to rescue anything.

The structures comprised finished multi-storey buildings, some awaiting owners to move in and others with construction at different stages.

“I had just completed building the house and not even moved in and it is now gone,” said one of the affected homeowners.

The affected individuals said they were not given any eviction notice and were caught by surprise to see the bulldozers descending on their houses.

The demolitions come less than a year after similar demolitions in Kariobangi North estate that left more than 5,000 residents homeless after the government demolished their houses to reclaim the land.

The demolitions at the time were supervised by the police and was blamed on the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company after expiration of an earlier notice to vacate the land.

Makadara MP George Aladwa condemned the inhumane demolitions in Njiru, saying the national government has the constitutional responsibility to ensure citizen rights are protected and every Kenyan is accorded equal treatment as per the law.

He pointed out that hundreds of people have now been left homeless and some injured with relevant authorities giving a blind eye to their cries.

Mr Aladwa said it is worth noting that similar evictions happened last year in Ruai and Kariobangi and the majority of the victims are still homeless.

He said the demolitions will hit the residents hard at a time when Kenyans are battling the hard-economic times brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.

“How will the affected look for new homes at a time when the same government has restricted movement?” posed Mr Aladwa.

He implored President Uhuru Kenyatta to halt the demolitions and evictions until such a time when the country is through with the troubles of Covid-19.

​”While I welcome all the intended development projects in our sub-county from both the county and national government, it is hard to understand the motivation behind evicting people from their homes at a time when the President has announced cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi,” he said.

At the same time, he said close to 2,000 traders in Uhuru Market off Jogoo Road are also counting losses after a private developer of Ethiopian descent evicted them from the market.

He said that the traders were not given any notice only for the private developer to descend on their stalls at night rendering them jobless and homeless overnight.

The Nairobi County ODM party chair called on relevant authorities to issue fresh eviction notices to any other targeted areas as well as put in place immediate compensation and settlement of those who have legally been evicted in areas affected so far.

“I call on all elected and nominated leaders in Nairobi to unite against these inhumane, brutal and untimely acts that clearly violate the rights of those we represent,” he said.