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Slum dwellers living in mudslide prone areas ordered to vacate

06 October 2015, 13:22 Joseph Njung'eh

Nairobi - Residents of Witemere slums in Nyeri town have been ordered to vacate immediately as fear of anticipated El Nino rains rages.

Nyeri County Commissioner, Onesmus Musyoki said failure to vacate law enforcers will force the residents out of the area forcefully.

Speaking after touring the slum which is along Nyeri-King’ongo road, Musyoki said the families must vacate since it is prone to mudslides and floods.

The meteorological department has been warning about the impeding El Nino rains. We cannot take chances and government must protect lives,” said Musyoki who was accompanied by Governor Nderitu Gachagua.

Gachagua said the County Government will provide humanitarian assistance to victims of the vacation order.

He said his government has committed funds which will be used to buy tents and other necessities during the long rains season.

However, in a rejoinder, the more than 300 families vowed not to move out of the area claiming that they have not been shown alternative settlement land. 

“We have been living here for more than 40 years. Several other rains have left us here and no destruction we have ever seen. We shall not move out unless they show us alternative land to settle,” said Mercy Njoki, a mother of five.

Residents said they suspect foul play in the government’s order as they stated that there was a private developer interested on the piece of land which borders River Chania. 

“Government officers want us to vacate on disguise that we will be killed by Elnino rains while the private developer will come and build permanent houses. The rich man was here and surveyed the land. He has County government’s protection,” said Angelina Wanjiru, another resident.


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