The Kenya Urban Roads Authority has commenced demolition of structures in Kibera slum to make way for a new dual carriage way.
The structures were brought down after a notice given to locals to vacate the marked area expired. The evacuation came as human rights groups condemned the manner it was undertaken.
At the crack of dawn, locals in Kibera living at Mashimoni, Lindi, Kambi Muru and Kisumu Ndogo areas woke up to the rumbling noise of bulldozers. People watched helplessly from the sidelines.
Soon, the dark and twisty alleys of the area were crammed with security officers and personnel from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority and National Building Inspectorate.
Many who had not been able to move earlier scrambled to secure their property before the bulldozer caught up with them.
Three hours after the area had been flattened, the destruction was absolute. Even with prior notice, and most of the houses uninhabited, the residents stared in stunned silence as the 4 villages disappeared.
Schools were not spared either all having to make way for the link road. However, the destruction of this church was just too much to bear for the faithful as they struggled to guard their emotions.
Interestingly, in what many termed poetic justice, the bulldozer which was involved in the demolition shortly after was trapped in a collapsed latrine for some time.
The close to 30,000 people who lived in the area will have to start afresh elsewhere.
Amnesty International has condemned the evictions, but Kenyan officials said the people living in the area were there illegally. Amnesty International has described the evictions as tragic and illegal, saying the sight of young children carrying away their families’ belongings was heart-breaking.
The human rights group’s executive director for Kenya Ir?ng? Houghton added the demolitions “betray” a deal made to agree a resettlement plan before evicting the residents.