Over 60 heavily armed police officers ambushed residents of the City Carton informal settlements near Wilson Airport on the morning of 09/05/18, and oversaw the demolition of the homes of over 250 families. Bulldozers on site flattened all houses and left over a 1000 people homeless.
On 11 April, the resident of City Carton informal settlement were served with a 14-day notice to vacate from their homes. They have since been living in great anxiety. Elsewhere. Although the notice was in the name of the Nairobi City County – Director, Planning, Compliance and Enforcement, City Carton residents had not received any further information on the eviction or plans for resettlement.
Amnesty International Kenya together with the residents has in recent weeks visited numerous authorities to seek more information about the notice. We visited the Assistant County Commissioner of Nairobi West, the Administration Police Commander - Langata Sub-County, the Officer Commanding Station Langata, the Nairobi City Planner, the County Executive Committee, the enforcement Multi Agency Authority and the Nairobi County Director of Planning, Compliance and Enforcement, in whose name the eviction order was issued, and they all denied knowledge of the eviction notice. However, none of them assured the residents that the eviction would not take place.
"Nairobi authorities cannot leave City Carton residents in this desperate situation especially at a time of heavy rains and flooding. This is forced eviction which is a gross violation of the right to adequate housing, and will not only severely impact on the livelihoods of the residents, but will also result in children missing school," said Naomi Barasa, Campaign Manager- Adequate Housing Amnesty International, Kenya.
"The absence of any consultation or resettlement plans and other safeguards, the eviction has certainly rendered City Carton families homeless and put their health and safety at risk. We call on the authorities to follow due process as required by law."
For most of them, it is their third or fourth forced eviction. Memories of being forcibly evicted by the Kenya Airports Authority in 2011 and by Moi Educational Centre (MEC) in 2013 are still fresh.
"The absence of any consultation or resettlement plans, the eviction has certainly rendered City Carton families homeless and put their health and safety at risk. We call on the authorities to follow due process as required by law."
The majority of City Carton residents live and earn their livelihood from small scale businesses such as grocery shops, food stalls, and by selling scrap metal, while others provide services to the neighboring estates (Five Star, Nemon, South C and Bandari) as casual labourers and domestic workers. Their children go to school at Kongoni, St Catherine and Langata Primary Schools and Langata Barracks Secondary Schools.
Kenya has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and domesticated these in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 in Article 43. These commitments bind Kenya to respect and protect the right to adequate housing, and against harassment from peaceably enjoying their home.
Amnesty International calls on the government to:Immediately provide all necessary support and assistant to victims of the forced evictions. Such assistant should include access to emergency adequate housing, water, sanitation, education, health care, provision of food and clothing and support in establishing businesses and accessing sources of work. The authority responsible should engage the people on effective remedies to forced eviction and alternative.