Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Govt asked to stop forceful evictions

08 October 2013, 11:12

Nairobi - Human rights group, Amnesty International, said government must immediately end mass evictions until legal safeguards are put in place to protect the human rights of the thousands of residents living in slums and informal settlements.

“Nearly half of Nairobi’s population live in slums and many are at risk of forced evictions which not only often make people homeless, but also involve violence and lead to loss of access to services such as water and sanitation as well as livelihoods, education and healthcare,” said Iain Byrne, head of Amnesty International’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights team.

“Forced evictions devastate lives and need to be outlawed.”

A report, titled, “We are like Rubbish in this Country,” which Amnesty International has released, details the realities of living in Nairobi’s slums and the impact of forced evictions, focusing on two informal settlements – Deep Sea and City Carton.

In City Carton, near Wilson airport, the homes of 400 families were demolished in May 2013 by groups of men armed with hammers, crowbars and machetes. Police present at the scene used teargas and live ammunition during the demolition.

Evidence gathered by Amnesty International raises serious questions whether the use of force and firearms by police at City Carton was a necessary and proportionate response. 

Amnesty International also found that the demolition of homes at City Carton had no legal basis, and that the police failed to stop the eviction or protect the residents from the armed men.

“By allowing these men to demolish people’s homes at City Carton, the police failed in their duty to protect residents and by using unnecessary force, effectively acquiesced in the forced eviction,” Byrne said.

Five months after the demolition hundreds of people are still sleeping in makeshift structures and their already precarious living conditions have deteriorated sharply. They have no sanitation following the demolition of toilet blocks, residents have lost their livelihoods and children are unable to attend school. They have so far been denied the legal remedies and assistance which they are entitled to by law.

Amnesty International’s report also highlights the vulnerability of communities such as Deep Sea in Westlands. The homes and livelihoods of Deep Sea residents are likely to be destroyed due to a road construction project which will cut through the settlement’s main trading centre. Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), with funding from the European Union, is initiating the project.

In the absence of adequate information on the road construction, residents fear that they could be made homeless at any moment.

Byrne said government had an obligation to follow due process, including genuine consultation with communities who will be affected by evictions.

The official said while Kenya’s Constitution specifically recognized the right to adequate housing, however, given the scale and frequency of forced evictions, there was an urgent need for legislation that explicitly prohibited such evictions.

“International human rights standards are unequivocal: forced evictions are illegal, are never justified and constitute grave violation of the right to housing, not to mention other rights such as the right to life, food, health and sanitation,” Byrne said.

– CAJ News


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...