Kenya: Evictions Loom in Move to Reclaim Kenya Pipeline Way Leaves

People who have erected structures along the Kenya Pipeline Company's way leave have until Tuesday morning to remove them or face forceful eviction.

This follows a routine inspection of the way leave in Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Mukuru Kwa Reuben in Embakasi Sub-county, Nairobi, to sensitise residents on the dangers of building structures on the pipeline.

"We have given them up to tomorrow morning. After tomorrow we don't want to see any structures along the way leaves," Makadara Deputy County Commissioner Fredrick Ndunga said.

"They know the structures are not supposed to be there. Some have been trying to remove them without being told to."

He spoke on Monday during the inspection of KPC, Kenya Railways and Kenya Power way leaves in the slums, an exercise which the company's officials attended.

They also inspected way leaves from Imara Daima to Donholm.

DANGER

Although most structures are temporary, Mr Ndunga expressed concern that some residents cook on top of the pipeline, posing a serious danger.

"It is illegal to put anything on the way leave. You might be desperate, looking for means of livelihood, but it is illegal. No one has a right to be there," he emphasised.

In 2011, more than 100 people died while at least 160 were injured in a fire in Sinai that resulted from a pipeline leak.

Kenya Power's Security Manager Harry Githinji said the countrywide inspection will ensure people know the dangers of encroaching on way leaves.

RELOCATION

Residents of Mukuru Kwa Ruben, however, said a plan for their relocation had not been effected.

Roselyne Asena said the plan covers schools and homes that are on way leaves.

Ms Asena added that the government should come up with a lasting solution instead of demolishing structures.

"When the government wants to come to the ground, officials should talk to us as we have solutions. The bulldozers are not solving anything," Ms Asena said.

In the agreement, residents are not supposed to be within 27 meters of way leaves.

But Mr Ndunga said he was unaware of a relocation plan and advised the residents to return to where they came from.

"Our message is clear - let them leave the way leave alone," he said, noting they cannot allow people to risk their lives while earning

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