Kenya: Tears as Families Exhume Bodies to Pave Way for SGR

Residents of Mirisho village, Kajiado County, exhume bodies to pave way for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway.

Residents of Mirisho village, Kajiado County, have started exhuming bodies of their kin to pave way for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The locals said they are exhuming the bodies after the recent demarcation of the SGR phase two route which passes over several graves in the county.

Construction of phase two is expected to be complete by August this year.

They said they want to rebury their loved ones before the government moves in and forcefully exhume the bodies.

Some family members broke down as they watched the bodies of their kin being exhumed, terming the process as tormenting.

Led by their MP Joseph Manje, the residents complained that despite demolishing their houses in June last year and moving out of their land, they are yet to receive compensation from the National Land Commission (NLC).

RENDERED HOMELESS

Manje noted that some families had been following up on compensation for almost two years to no avail and had been rendered homeless after demolishing their houses.

"We have some families here who have been following up on compensation for the last two years. The project is going on and yet no compensation is forthcoming. It is quite unfortunate, the government should act now without further delay" said the MP.

On June 14, 2019 residents of Nkoroi and Merisho in Ongata Rongai watched in shock as their palatial homes were forcefully demolished.

They complained that they had not been given any notice to vacate or paid compensation so that they could relocate.

However Manje said the NLC had on Friday last week started compensating landowners who are owed less than Sh10 million.

GETTING PAID

"I am happy people have started receiving their compensation. Those expecting more than Sh10 million have been promised their pay starting Tuesday this week," Manje said.

The MP said around 10 houses with disputes would have to wait until their cases have been dealt with after NLC classified their parcels of land as disputed, thereby warranting further investigations and fresh valuations. - Kna

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