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Dandora churches, houses demolished in bid to reclaim grabbed land – PHOTOS

Residents of Dandora were left counting losses after Kenya Railways embarked on demolition of structures erected on its land in the area.

Two churches and five residential houses were pulled down in the demolition done in the presence of a heavy police contingent .

One of the affected residents, Samuel Wambugu, claimed that they bought the land from the defunct Nairobi City Council and have title deeds for the land.

He said that they paid for the parcel of land that is also on a riparian land, although he could not tell at what cost, saying that it is their head pastor who has all the documents for the piece of land.

PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO
PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO

“We were sold the land by people in the government, City Council, yet the government again comes to demolish them even though we have the titles,” said Mr Wambugu.

The resident added that the notice that they were given was a short one that could not allow them to salvage their properties.

“The notice we were given was short as it was given on July 19 yet the work involves a lot. It has affected our churches – Christ Trust Ministries and Word and Faith Deliverance Church. There were even residential houses here and it was hard bringing them down as they are made of blocks. We do not know where our faithful will congregate on Sunday,” he said.

PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO
PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO

In July 26, the residents, along with others living along land reserves belonging to Kenya Power and Kenya Railways, were given until the end of July to move before an impending demolition of all illegal structures.

National Building Inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora gave the residents up to August 1, 2018 to voluntarily move in order to avoid human risk and loss or damage of property, warning that upon the expiry of the notice, any structures or property that will be found on the specified corridor will be demolished.

“In order to avoid human risks like injuries, loss of life and damage of property associated with Railway operations and high voltage electricity lines, I hereby want to notify you the intended removal of all structures located along Kenya Power and Kenya Railway reserves as from August 1,” said Nyakiongora at the time.

PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO
PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO

Upon the expiry of the notice, the residents confirmed that they were given another seven-day notice to vacate the area. Some of them ignored the notice.

Dandora, is one of the areas which had been earmarked for demolition of illegal structures on Kenya Railway reserve. Others include Kaloleni, Makongeni, Mbotela, Mutindwa and Kenyatta University around Kamae.