On 1 October, residents from Dagoretti Corner settlement, in Nairobi, Kenya, were forcibly evicted from their homes by government agencies, ‘Kenya Railways Corporation’ and ‘Kenya Power & Lighting Company’ leaving more than 3,000 people homeless. This unlawful act was done in utter disregard of the Presidential moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, issued on 11 May 2020. We call upon all stakeholders to act in cognizance of the need to safeguard the good health and life of all those forcibly evicted in this unlawful eviction.
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H.E Uhuru Kenyatta
The President of the Republic of Kenya
Office of the President
PO Box 62345 – 00200
Email: [email protected]
Dear President Uhuru Kenyatta,
I am deeply concerned by the forced eviction of residents of Dagoretti Corner settlement in Nairobi, carried out by government agencies, ‘Kenya Power & Lighting Company’ and ‘Kenya Railways Corporation’ on the morning of 1 October. The forced evictions have rendered more than 3,000 people homeless. The demolition of homes and places of work was carried out with utter disregard for the presidential moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic issued on 11 May 2020 and Kenya’s international human rights obligations. Access to adequate housing is a human right and is critical to protecting oneself from COVID-19, stopping its spread and recovering from it. I condemn in the strongest terms the forced evictions of residents of the Dagoretti Corner settlement. The demolition, which began at 10:00 am, was overseen by more than 100 armed and uniformed police officers. The forced eviction has also led to the destruction of more than 200 small business establishments. The authorities failed to put in place due process requirements including the requirement to provide adequate notice of eviction. The forced eviction has not only increased the risk of possible exposure to COVID-19 for the affected people and destabilized their lives and livelihoods, but it also constitutes a violation of human rights including the right to adequate housing.
I call on you to ensure the Ministries in charge of Lands, Housing and Energy take full responsibility for the injustices that these families have suffered and provide effective remedy including provision of adequate alternative housing, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition; investigate and summon all responsible officers from the Kenya Railways Corporation and Kenya Power & Lighting Company to establish why the Presidential moratorium on all evictions in Nairobi during COVID-19 was disregarded; and issue an advisory to all officers against facilitating unlawful activities related to evictions and take administrative against officers who contributed to the forced eviction of Dagoretti Corner settlement.