Nairobi Regional Commissioner James Kianda led police demolishing structures erected along a road reserve in Nairobi’s informal settlements of Deep Sea.
On the mid-morning hours of Friday, October 1, bulldozers descended on the structures built on road reserves, with heavy police presence aimed at thwarting any resistance from the residents.
In a statement, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government said that the government took the action to pull down the structures after the residents defied several notices to leave voluntarily.
The Ministry of Interior said that the residents of the slum had already been compensated by the National Lands Commission (NLC) but failed to move as agreed.
“The notices for the voluntary vacation of the encroached road reserve had been issued under the project’s Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) negotiated with area leaders and those affected by the dual carriage road funded by the Japanese government,” the Ministry’s statement read in part.
The government stated that it will bring down the structures that have derailed the completion of the Ring Road Parklands that links the wealthy neighbourhoods of Westlands and Parklands.
The Regional Commissioner allowed residents time to cart away their belongings before the demolition exercise began.
He also warned those who would resist the demolition process at Deep Sea and other road corridors in Nairobi’s informal settlements that have been earmarked for demolition, saying that the government will take action against them.
“We have had a number of engagements with the community. Consequent to the wide and open discussions, over 734 informal settlers on the road reserve agreed to vacate voluntarily after they were compensated,” Kianda remarked.
“We have not come here to talk about land ownership. We are only interested in clearing the road corridor. Our appeal to the Deep Sea community is to allow the contractor the space they need to complete this project.”