Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Kenya: In Nairobi, residents face forced evictions

People stand on a bridge, as they watch houses in riparian land being demolished in the Mukuru area of Nairobi, Tuesday, May. 7, 2024.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Brian Inganga/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


First came the floods washing away peoples homes and livelihoods.

Then came the bulldozers sweeping away what was left.

For Winnie Makinda, the bulldozer killed her 17-year-old son who was trying to salvage something from the ruins of the floods and bulldozer to try and make a little money to help his family survive the harsh economic conditions in the impoverished neighbourhood of Mathare, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

In the midst of heavy rainfall in Nairobi, Kenya, residents of Mathare are facing forced evictions from their homes.

The Kenyan government has ordered the evacuation of people from flood-prone areas, resulting in the demolition of houses and the loss of at least one life in the melee caused by the forced evictions.

Thirty-five year old Winnie Makinda, a single mother of eight children is grieving the killing of her 17-year-old son, Ian Henry Otieno. Her was killed when the bulldozer crushed his skull.

The heartbroken mother explains how she single-handedly raised the deceased until high school in hopes that he would help her in future.

“I have schooled him until form three (high school). All by myself! He has no father, no grandmother, no grandfather. I am the only provider.” Tears rolling down her face, she cries out in anguish, “ Who will help me! Who will help me!”

The young boy's body is still laying in the morgue, on the floor and at the risk of decaying as the mother cannot afford the cost of refrigeration or embalming.

“Since my child died, he is in the mortuary unattended to. I just found him there,” she said. “His body has not been embalmed. I only had fare given to me by my friends,” she added.

On Wednesday, residents watched helplessly as excavators and bulldozers pulled down their homes while the police lobbed tear gas at those who tried to salvage goods.

Millicent Otondo, 48, a mother of three and business owner, has endured the loss of both her home and her 20-year-old business.

She recounts how site engineers marked the building housing her shop for demolition, which prompted opportunistic residents to break in and steal her entire stock.

Taking shelter temporarily in one of the classrooms at the Mathare North Adventist Education Centre, Otondo and others like her face the looming challenge of finding alternative housing.

This urgency arises as Kenya's president, William Ruto has mandated the reopening of schools on Monday, the 13th. The government has promised evicted families the equivalent of $75 to relocate.

The Kenyan government reports that over 200 people have lost their lives and more than 200,000 have been displaced since March due to flash floods caused by the ongoing heavy rains.

View more