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Injustice on Our Doorstep: The Story of Evictions in Kenya
June 7, 2024
Let's hold our leaders accountable and fight for a future where every Kenyan can live with dignity and respect.
A bulldozer is demolishing a five story building in Mathare that was constructed in a riparian zone

By Joan Achieng

Have you ever felt the ground shake beneath your feet, not from an earthquake, but from the force of injustice? That’s the reality for many Mathare, Majengo, Korogocho, Kariobangi, and Ruaraka residents in Kenya. Imagine waking up one day to find bulldozers tearing down your home, your sanctuary, leaving you homeless and hopeless. This is the harsh truth facing countless families in our country today.

It’s a tale of two cities, where the affluent live in luxury while the poor struggle to survive. In places like Runda, where the streets are lined with mansions, the government turns a blind eye to illegal encroachments on riparian land. But in Mathare, where poverty reigns supreme, residents are forcibly evicted from their humble abodes without a second thought.

The recent floods in Kenya have only exacerbated this divide. While homes in affluent neighbourhoods like Runda remain untouched, the poor in Mathare are left to fend for themselves in flooded shacks. It’s not just nature’s wrath that they’re battling; it’s corruption and impunity that have worsened their plight.

Imagine being promised relocation funds after being evicted, only to see those funds vanish into thin air while the president spends millions on lavish trips abroad. The anger and frustration are palpable, as residents demand accountability and justice for their shattered lives.

But amidst the chaos and despair, there is a glimmer of hope. The community is coming together to demand change. They’re calling for fair and humane eviction procedures, proper resettlement plans, and accountability for the lives lost and livelihoods destroyed.

It’s time for the government to listen. Why are they turning a blind eye to illegal structures in wealthy neighbourhoods while demolishing homes in poor ones? Is it because the rich have more power and influence? Is it because they value wealth over human lives?

We cannot sit idly by and watch as our fellow citizens suffer. We must stand together and demand justice for all. It’s time for the government to prioritize the needs of the people over the interests of the elite. It’s time for them to implement humane interventions and ensure that no one is left behind in times of crisis.

So let’s raise our voices and demand change. Let’s hold our leaders accountable and fight for a future where every Kenyan can live with dignity and respect. It’s not just about buildings being demolished; it’s about the lives and dreams that are being crushed in the process. And together, we can make a difference.