200 Businesses Wiped Out After Demolitions in Dagoretti

  • Demolition exercise at Dagoretti Corner in Nairobi on October 1, 2020.
    The demolition exercise at Dagoretti Corner in Nairobi on October 1, 2020.
    Twitter
    Amnesty International
  • Residents at Dagoretti Corner in Nairobi on Thursday, October 1, were left stranded after their houses and businesses were demolished.

    Amnesty International, a human rights organisation, observed that over 3000 people were left homeless and 200 businesses destroyed in demolitions carried out in the area.

    Residents claimed they did not receive any notice on the demolitions.

    Demolition exercise at Dagoretti Corner in Nairobi on October 1, 2020.
    Demolition exercise at Dagoretti Corner in Nairobi on October 1, 2020.
    Twitter
    Amnesty International

    The demolition came despite a presidential directive on a nationwide moratorium on evictions during the Covid-19 period.

    Most of the residents were left distraught as they watched the excavators dig out their houses.

    Reports indicate that the houses were built below electric power lines. Kenya Power advocates for a way-leave of 30 metres.

    The utility warns that high-voltage cables have strong magnetic fields around them, which pose bigger health risks.

    Kenya Power noted that a high number of squatters had constructed illegal structures under its power lines thus compromising its ability to effectively transmit, distribute, and retail quality and reliable electricity to its customers throughout the country.

    Demolition exercise in Dagoretti on October 1, 2020.
    The demolition exercise at Dagoretti Corner on October 1, 2020.
    Twitter

    “The illegal and unsafe structures not only pose a danger to the squatters in the event of an electrical accident but also deny us the ability to maintain our power supply lines,” an official from Kenya Power stated.

    The most recent evictions took place at Githurai and Mutindwa where kiosks erected close to the railway line were taken down.

    Over 500 businessmen and women were affected in the demolitions with some noting that the notice given by the government bodies was not sufficient to relocate.

    In the evictions, Kenya Railways is looking to reclaim its land reserve for construction of the Nairobi mass transit railway as it targets to serve up to 230,000 passengers a day.

    An image of Mtindwa demolitions
    Salvaged goods from the Mtindwa demolitions on Tuesday 25 August 2020.
    Douglas Okidi