Kenya: Night Demolitions Leave Pangani Estate Tenants in the Cold

Pangani Estate tenants spent Monday night in the cold after Nairobi County bulldozers descended on their houses to forcefully evicting them.

According to one of the residents, the bulldozers arrived at around 11:30pm, breaking up windows and doors while they were asleep.

"The City Hall guys are here and they are demolishing the houses while we are still in with our children. It is scary as they are breaking windows, doors and everything," she told the Nation.

The tenants were forced to scamper for safety as the demolition exercise that had caught them unawares continued for the better part of the night.

UPGRADE

Pangani Estate is among seven Nairobi estates that are earmarked for redevelopment. The others are Ngong Road phases I and II, Uhuru Estate, New Ngara, Old Ngara, Suna Road, and Jeevanjee.

The county government has been embroiled in a tussle with the Pangani residents since last year over the evictions.

The groundbreaking for the planned upgrade at the estate had been scheduled for August 2018.

In May this year, Nairobi County paid out Sh28.8 million to 48 house owners at the estate paving the way for construction of 1,500 affordable housing units in the next two years.

Governor Mike Sonko, who handed out the cheques to the beneficiaries, most of whom have lived there since establishment in the late 1960s, said each tenant would receive Sh600,000 to facilitate relocation.

Mr Sonko said at the time that after consultative meetings, 80 percent of the tenants supported the redevelopment which was to begin in June.

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