The demolition of illegal structures that have derailed the completion of a key road linking Westlands and Parklands in Nairobi has kicked off.

Caterpillars backed by a contingent of police officers moved into parts of the Deep Sea informal settlement that has stalled the construction of the 6th Parklands Avenue Road.

The Government moved into action after the encroachers ignored repeated notices to move out despite pocketing compensation from the National Lands Commission.

The notices for voluntary vacation of the encroached road reserve had been issued under the project’s Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) negotiated with area leaders and those affected by the dual carriage road funded by the Japanese government.

Nairobi Regional Commissioner James Kianda assured residents living outside the 40-metres road corridor that they would be spared from the demolitions.

“We have had a number of engagements with the community. Consequent to the wide and open discussions, over 734 informal settlers on the road reserve agreed to vacate voluntarily after they were compensated,” Kianda said.

The RC however allowed a few hours for those who were yet to remove their belongings to do so before the tractors moved in.

He warned against inciting residents to resist voluntarily clearance of the Deep Sea and other road corridors in Nairobi’s informal settlements saying it was derailing the Government agenda to upgrade essential infrastructure.

He said, “We have not come here to talk about land ownership. We are only interested in clearing the road corridor. Our appeal to the Deep Sea community is to allow the contractor the space they need to complete this project.”

According to the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), the, project is part of the JICA Master Plan for Nairobi and will link Ngong Road and Thika Road. The first phase has already been completed at a cost of Kshs. 4 billion.

However, pockets of illegal settlers crept back to the settlement which measures about 120 metres square.

Kianda warned forced evictions will begin immediately after the grace window saying the Government was being forced to spend beating the budget as the contactor was on the ground.
This section will ensure smooth flow of traffic through Ring Road Parklands to Limuru Road and adjacent roads.

Kianda sais the government will progressively repossess from unlawful and illegal occupants all the public utility land across the larger Nairobi Metropolitan Area.