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Hundreds left homeless in road reserve demolitions

Hundreds of families in Eastleigh were left homeless after their houses were demolished by bulldozers from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority.

The demolition followed the expiry of a month’s notice issued by the authority for people living or plying their trade on the road reserve to vacate and pave way for road expansion.

On Friday, bulldozers brought down houses on Eastleigh’s First Avenue and at the Juja Road junction near St Teresa’s Catholic Church under the watch of more than 100 police officers.

Kura spokesman John Cheboi said owners of the houses had been given ample time to move out.

Encroachment

“Our work schedule has been stifled by encroachment on road reserves and those affected were aware of it,” he said. Apart from the encroachers, telephone and electricity lines, water and sewerage pipes will be moved too, he added.

According to the authority, all developments that are 30m near Eastleigh’s 1st Avenue will be demolished if their owners will not comply with the notice.

Police had a hard time ensuring the demolition went on uninterrupted with some residents refusing to leave their houses in spite of the danger posed by bulldozers.

A woman, who was asleep in one of the houses together with her sick baby had to be pulled out minutes before it was flattened.

Regina Masala who had arrived from KNH where she had taken her baby to be treated had to be controlled as she tried to force her way back to her house while holding her baby who still had an intravenous drip on its head.

“We were told yesterday by government officials that we should have left by morning. I did not have time because my baby had an appointment with a doctor,” she said.

Another resident, Mary Mulozi said their landlord had not told them about the notice.

“He only comes here to collect rent and even did so this month. He has never mentioned anything about demolitions,” she said.

“This has been an ongoing process and will continue for the next three weeks until all road reserves are cleared. We are here to maintain law and order,” said Nairobi area OCS Francis Siror.