, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – A group of Non-Governmental Organisations comprising Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists and Slum Dwellers International now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and stop the ongoing forced evictions until a resettlement action plan is put in place.
Through a joint statement on Wednesday, the human rights defenders said the forced evictions in Kibera and Mau Forest contravene Kenya’s national and international human rights obligations.
“We call on the Office of the President to stop any ongoing or planned forced evictions until the Government of Kenya puts in place laws and regulations to ensure all evictions in urban cities and rural forests comply with the Kenya national, regional and international human rights commitments,” read part of the statement.
The rights group urged the Ministry of Transport and the Kenya Urban Roads Authority to cease the proposed evictions and follow due process when planning and implementing evictions.
“The Transport Ministry and KURA should ensure genuine consultation with project affected persons, adequate prior notice, compensation for losses and the provision of alternative housing and relocation options,” read the statement.
This comes after approximately 10,000 Kibera residents were on Monday left homeless after the Kenya Urban Roads Authority flattened their houses despite having given assurance that the demolitions will not be done until a resettlement plan is finalized.
Schools, religious institutions and community centers were also not spared.
The schools that were affected include Mashimoni Squatters School (576 students), Makina Self Help School (150 students), PEFA Church School (120 students), Egesa Children Center (180 students), Mashimoni Primary School (200 students), New Adventure Pride Center (200 students) and I Love Africa School (530 students).
Diana Angaya a resident of Deep Sea in Parklands which is among other 10 informal settlements targeted for demolition said they live in constant fear that they will soon be rendered homeless.
“We are having sleepless nights; even the sound of a vehicle terrifies us because we know our houses could be demolished anytime. We are not opposed to development but we want our rights to be respected while doing the eviction process,” she said.
Other informal settlements facing imminent demolition include Accra, Ngara, Makongeni, Mbotela, Mutindwa, Kenya power and Kenya Railways reserves in Kaloleni among others.