, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Dozens of residents have been evicted from apartments in Pangani Estate as Nairobi City County Monday night moved to reclaim a parcel of land earmarked for the construction of modern apartments.
City Hall officials said Governor Mike Sonko’s administration wants to construct decent houses in the area as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda.
“We must safeguard our future generations. Governor Mike Sonko recently met the Pangani residents at City Hall and issued them with cheques. Let’s all work with positive minds if we want a better future. This is in line with the President’s Big Four Agenda. As you are aware, blame games and finger-pointing retards development. This is purely development and let’s not politicize it,” Nairobi County communication boss Elikana Jacob said.
Many spent their night in the cold on Monday as county officials raided the estate and brought down the apartments.
“These guys came at around 11.30pm or midnight when people were already getting to sleep. They finished demolishing at around 3.30am,” Mwangi Muthui, a resident in the area said.
“We had agreed with them that they give us time at least until schools are closed,” Muthui stated.
Another resident who confirmed they had been served notice to vacate said he had been compensated alongside other residents in the estate and given until July 31 to vacate.
He faulted City Hall for reneging on the promise.
About 1,500 affordable houses are set to be constructed on the reclaimed parcel of land.
Governor Sonko on May 9 said all the residents will be allocated an apartment at a cost of Sh3 million, payable within a 30-year period.
“In addition, my administration has issued to each of the 48 tenants a cheque of Sh600,000 as rent to wherever they’ll move to for the 2-year construction period,” he said.
Under the County Comprehensive Urban Renewal Programme, the City Government plans to construct 100,000 new housing units.
This is meant to meet the ever-growing demand for affordable housing, in a city with more than 5 million residents.
Other than Pangani, other targeted estates targeted for a facelift include Bahati, Mbotela, Ziwani, Makongeni, Kaloleni, Jericho and Shauri Moyo.
Currently, the County has 14,000 housing units, some of which are dilapidated.