CALL TO IMPLEMENT MORATORIUM ON FORCED EVICTIONS IN KENYA DURING THE SUBSISTENCE OF COVID 19 PANDEMIC AND CONTROL MEASURES.

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PRESS RELEASE                                                              9th SEPTEMBER, 2020

The Housing Coalition is a National Network of Civil Society organizations, Community Based Organizations and Like-minded individuals with the mandate of fostering the protection and preservation of the Right to Land and Housing with the coalition represented by the undersigned organizations.

The COVID 19 pandemic brought with it major changes in the livelihoods of Kenyans especially as a result of the control measures that were imposed by the government.

The Citizens of Kenya, especially those in informal settlements have suffered a great deal as they were subjected to forced evictions and demolitions.

The COVID 19 control measures suggested that we stay at home and maintain the highest standard of sanitation by regular cleaning hands and surfaces within our homes.

The measures are meant to support the government to prevent further infection by slowing down the transmission of the virus.

However, during the substance of the COVID 19 measures, we have witnessed that continued forced eviction and demolition of vulnerable communities in the informal settlements. In some instances, the communities had obtained Court Orders to prevent the forced evictions and demolitions which were carried out in impunity.

Within the period of March to date, we have witnessed forced eviction and demolitions in Kariobangi, Ruai, Kibra, Mukuru Kwa Reuben, and Kaloleni areas to mention but a few. These forced evictions have left thousands homeless with no alternative resettlement and compensation accorded to the victims.

This has led to the exposure of these families to the danger of contracting COVID 19 since they can no longer access shelter, sanitation services, and protection from the weather elements. The online learning of students affected by forced evictions has also being affected given the lack of shelter, loss of property including books during the forced evictions, and lack of internet access.

Communities in Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Kaloleni, Kibra and Many others are still facing threats of forced eviction even after the commencement of heavy rains which pause a great risk as to the health and safety of the vulnerable communities should they be evicted.

The threats of forced evictions as they have been issued, have not accorded the vulnerable communities the proper notice that is required under law and has failed to address themselves to the question of eviction and resettlement.

There are no clear steps as to the protection of the victims of forced eviction from exposure to COVID 19.

There exists no clear framework for the resettlement or compensation plan for those who are victims of the forced evictions and demolitions.

There exists no clear framework for the protection of the economic and social rights that will be affected by the forced evictions and resettlement.

We call upon the state agencies to act in the best interest of the vulnerable communities to stop issuing any form of threats of eviction or executing any forced evictions or demolitions during the period of the pandemic and the prevention measures.

We call upon the Government of Kenya to:

Complete the process of putting in place the Policy Framework for Evictions and Resettlement to ensure that the rights of the persons affected by the forced eviction and demolition are protected in cases where the eviction is inevitable.

Issue a Moratorium against forced evictions especially during the COVID 19 Pandemic

That Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) stop with immediate effect all planned forced evictions in the city

That Court Orders be respected by authorities and human rights must be effected especially for the urban poor

The organizations that endorse this release on behalf of the housing coalition are;

                                                                                                                                                     Inuka Kenya Ni Sisi Ltd

                                                                                                                  Economic & Social Rights Center, Hakijamii

Contact Person: Economic & Social Rights Center, Hakijamii

Yaya Court-Suite 8, Chania Avenue,

P.O Box 11356-00100, Nairobi-Kenya, Tel: +254 726527876,

esrc@hakijamii.com Tel: 0726527876/073290625.

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