Tough times for Mukuru kwa Njenga evictees living in makeshift homes as rains pound Nairobi

Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum during a previous demolition.

  • The residents, who have pitched tents in the area after their houses were demolished three weeks ago, are now living in fear of contracting water-borne disease amid warning of more rain by the Meteorological department. 
  • “Jana mvua ilianza kitu saa nne vile ilianza nilikuwa nimelala nikanyeshewa nikashindwa kulala nikasema wacha nitoKe nje ninyeshewe nje,” says Karimi. 

Hundreds of Mukuru Kwa Njenga evictees in Nairobi are soaking up in their makeshift houses as rains continue to pound the city. 

The residents, who have pitched tents in the area after their houses were demolished three weeks ago, are now living in fear of contracting water-borne disease amid warning of more rain by the Meteorological department. 

One of the evictees Esther Karimi says wringing her mattress with hopes it will be dry by evening has become the routine for her and her neighbours.

She is among about 40,000 residents whose homes were allegedly demolished by the government to pave way for road construction.

“Jana mvua ilianza kitu saa nne vile ilianza nilikuwa nimelala nikanyeshewa nikashindwa kulala nikasema wacha nitoKe nje ninyeshewe nje,” says Karimi. 

For Moses Mutinda, he says he had to stay awake the whole night after his mattress and blanket were soaked by the rain.

“Sijalala, mattress yangu yote imejaa maji nimelala kama zimekaa chini,” says Mutinda. “Naomba seriali itusadie.”

Zafira Chesedi says feeding her twins is her main worry. She has had to relocate to higher grounds after her tent was swept off by the floods.

“Mimi niko na hawa twins na kuna wengine pia twins niliamua kuwatuma kwa rafiki wangu wakaniangalilie kwa sababu sijui vile nitafanya nao,” says Chesedi.

Chesedi is, however, lucky not to have lost her belongings, like Fridah Mwende who came back from maternity to find her house washed away. 

She now depends on well-wishers to feed her one-month old baby boy.

“Chenye nalalia ni hii blanket eye nimetandika na niko na watoto si huyu pekee yake. Tunahangaika tu,” says Mwende.

The residents say the government, through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, had promised to give them building materials to rebuild their homes but the promise has never been fulfilled.

“Tuliambiwa Uhuru ametuma Major-General Mohammed Badi atuletee misumari, mabati, cement na mbao, hatujaziona,” James Kariuki told Citizen TV.

They now hope that their plight will be addressed  as a matter of urgency.