Urgent Action Update: Over Two Thousand People Risk Forced Eviction (Kenya: UA 141.18)
February 7, 2019
The Deep Sea Community in Nairobi, Kenya is once again at imminent risk of forced evictions. On 1 February, the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) of Westlands Subcounty informed residents of the informal settlement that they had four days to vacate their homes to pave way for an EU funded road construction project. Failure to which he threatened that the government would forcibly take over the land.
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Cabinet Secretary Hon Fred Matiangi Ministry of interior & coordination of national security P.O Box 30510- 00100 Nairobi, KENYA Email: [email protected] Twitter: @CSMatiangi and @FredMatiangi Salutation: Honorable Minister
More than two thousand residents of Deep Sea informal settlement in Westlands, Nairobi are at risk of imminent forced evictions. The residents told Amnesty International that on 1 February, the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) of Westlands Subcounty together with officers from other stations, eight of whom were armed, visited the informal settlement. The DCC informed the residents that they had four days to vacate the area designated for a European Union (EU) funded road construction project, or the government would take the land by force.
Since 2015, the residents have been engaged in resettlement negotiations with the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA). The residents have reiterated that they are not opposed to the construction of the road, but they would like KURA to respect their right to adequate housing. They have also called for the eviction process to be in line with international human rights standards on evictions including; adequate notice of evictions, a process of genuine consultation with all those affected, and steps taken to ensure that no one is rendered homeless as a result of the eviction. Although KURA previously agreed to purchase land for resettlement and the community identified nine different pieces of land, delays on KURA’s part resulted in the land no longer being available for purchase. Only two months ago, the community representatives leading the negotiations alleged receiving death threats from a Nairobi county official. They were told if they did not pull out of the of the negotiations and vacate the road reserve, “Amnesty would collect bodies in Deep Sea and make noise over bodies instead of houses”.
In light of the above, I call on you to ensure that no forced evictions occur in Deep Sea and the residents are not rendered homeless; ensure that residents of Deep Sea are allowed to continue with the ongoing resettlement negotiations without fear of threats or intimidation; ensure that all evictions comply with Kenya’s national and international human rights obligations.