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Time is up for Nairobi street families

By TOM OSANJO October 6th, 2015 2 min read

The street families menace will soon be a thing of the past when the Nairobi County Government finalizes plan to resettle them in Ruai on the outskirts of the city, Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke has announced.

According to the Mueke, the County government has already identified a parcel of land and once all the requirements were met construction of the rehabilitation centre will begin with the ultimate goal of relocating the street families there.

“We are dealing with lives and families and although most of these people are not from Nairobi County, we must give a human face in looking for solution to this problem,” Mueke said while speaking at the PAWA 254 studios on Monday night to mark this year’s World Habitat Day.

Organised under the aegis of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and celebrated on the first Monday of October every year, the purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

It is also intended to remind the world that human beings all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. The theme for this year was ‘Public Spaces for All’.


The Deputy Governor also disclosed that plans are underway to address the choking garbage problem in Nairobi.

“We had identified a place to use as the new dumpsite but the Kenya Airports Authority and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority overruled us saying the place was on the flight path and this posed a potential danger to aircrafts because of the scavenger birds likely to be attracted to the site,” he said.

Consequently, Mr. Mueke added, the county and national governments were in consultations with a view to establishing a landfill which would be safer for use.

In a video message, UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos said that the theme for this year underscored the urgent need for cities to look into the issue of public spaces for the residents.

“The character of a city is defined by its streets and public spaces. From squares and boulevards to neighbourhood gardens and children playgrounds, public space frames city image. The connective matrix of streets and public spaces forms the skeleton of the city upon which all else rests. Public space is a vital component of a prosperous city,” he said.