17 July 2018

Kenya: Kibera Residents on Road Path Given More Time

Kibera residents with illegal structures along the path of the planned Sh2 billion link road have been given more days to vacate.

Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) temporarily halted the demolition exercise for a week on Ngong' Road-Kungu Karumba-Lang'ata link road. The exercise was to start on Monday, July 16.

This will come as a relief to the estimated 30, 000 residents affected by the construction of the road, that is aimed at easing traffic congestion in Nairobi.

Tension has been palpable in the area ever since the residents were given a 14-day ultimatum by National Building Inspectorate on July 4 to vacate failure to which will result in forcible eviction upon the expiry of the notice that expired on July 16.

The extension was issued as state agency embarks on erection of beacons which will be done in phases and is set to go on until Friday.

On Monday, officials drawn from Kura and National Land Commission (NLC) visited the affected corridor to survey the area in readiness for erection of beacons and enumeration of affected people for relocation facilitation.

"It is a kind of appreciation as they move. Something that can enable them relocate or do something that will keep them going, a goodwill for them for cooperating with us," said Kura communication officer Mr John Cheboi.

Mr Cheboi said most of the original beacons that had been erected in the corridor had been removed hence the need to replace them.

Even as the plans to evict the residents is underway, the affected residents are divided over the exercise with some already moving out while others are still reluctant.

"There are no programmes instituted to make us understand what is going on. We do not know who will be affected as there are no beacons to that effect. I was born and bred here," said one of the residents identified as Steve from Mashimoni.

But another resident, Kevin Otieno, said that some people have started moving their belongings in anticipation of the looming eviction.

"Some have left for rural homes while others have found other houses to rent nearby," he said.

The 4.2km four-lane dual carriageway, also known as missing link 12 or the Ngong Road-Kibera-Kungu Karumba-Langata link road, has been under construction since 2016.

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