The Government is pushing on with plans to move around 10,000 encroachers into the newly constructed housing and business units in the next one and a half years. The idea of relocating the encroachers was first mooted in 2004 when the encroachers rose up in arms against a directive to vacate the reserve land or face eviction. After negotiations it was agreed that Kenya Railways observes World Bank’s guidelines for resettling Project Affected Persons (PAPs). This action resulted in a resolution that evictions should not be carried without relocation or compensation for the Project Affected Persons (PAPs).The railway reserve land particularly in Mukuru and Kibera within Nairobi has been heavily encroached by a large number of people. Residences and markets have been established on both sides of the railway line with the line itself doubling up as a path for pedestrian traffic. The encroachers carry out business within the reserve land. They have put up structures of all sorts including schools, houses, shops and churches.
The Relocation Action Plan aims to establish an extended safety corridor for railway operations and maintenance in Mukuru and Kibera. The safety corridor will act as a buffer zone to minimize danger posed by accidents or derailments. The project will mitigate against social, economic and environmental impact of the relocation. This will be done by putting in place sustainable development programmes and sufficient investments resources to enable the displaced persons restore their livelihoods as well as standard of living to pre-displacement levels or even higher.
While speaking at a meeting held to discuss the RAP in Kibera and Mukuru with Nairobi MPs, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Eng. Michael Kamau said “the relocation will pave way for the development of the railway through the slum areas leaving ample buffer area along the rail line. The project will ensure the livelihoods of the Project Affected Persons are improved and safeguarded against long-term hardship”. The project is funded by the World Bank under the East Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (EATTFP). Areas affected by the RAP in Kibera are Gatwekera, Kisumu Ndogo, Kianda, Laini Saba, Mashimoni and soweto East. The areas affected by the project in Mukuru are Sinai, Kwa Jenga and Kwa Rueben.