Kenya: Slum dwellers say road construction without compensation or relocation will leave them homeless

Author: Katy Migiro, Reuters, Published on: 10 October 2016

"Road that divides: Kenya slum braces for battle"

When Peter Nyagesera's sisters died, leaving him to raise their nine orphaned children, he felt drawn to help other single mothers and street children living in the narrow alleyways of Kenya's gigantic Kibera slum...A decade later,...[a]former dump site is a clean, gravelled playground, where children in green school uniforms play tag alongside a dining hall where they eat rice and cabbage for lunch - for many, their only hot meal of the day...But if the government wins two court cases brought by residents against its plan to build a road through Kibera, the children may be back on the streets, Nyagesera said...

Nyagesera, who filed one of two petitions against the road works, won a temporary injunction from Nairobi's High Court in February, arguing that the government started painting red crosses on buildings it intended to demolish without consulting residents or offering them compensation. He believes officials have been bribed to change the route of the road to bypass the properties of influential residents, highlighting the challenges of improving lives in slums without secure tenure...

A second group of residents from the marginalised Nubian community won a further court injunction in August, arguing they have nowhere to go if the road is built through their ancestral land, given to them by British colonialists a century ago. "Young men kept coming and causing nuisance in the wee hours of the night announcing they would demolish the houses," their petition states...

 

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