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TENANTS WERE EVICTED AT NIGHT

Pangani affordable housing project yet to start five months later

The site is quiet, with four Lorries and three caterpillars lying idle.

In Summary

• Pangani is one of the seven estates chosen for the project.

• Others are Uhuru, Suna Road, Old Ngara, New Ngara, Jevanjee and Ngong Road Phases One and Two.

A house demolished by the county government on Pangani estate, Nairobi, on July 16, 2019.
A house demolished by the county government on Pangani estate, Nairobi, on July 16, 2019.
Image: EZEKIEL AMINGA

The construction of affordable houses on Pangani estate has yet to start five months after tenants were moved out.

While city residents would expect the site to be a beehive of activity, it is quiet, with four Lorries and three caterpillars lying idle. Tecnofin was the developer awarded for the renewal of Pangani estate and SS Malonza the consultant. Pangani is one of the seven estates chosen for the project. Others are Uhuru, Suna Road, Old Ngara, New Ngara, Jevanjee and Ngong Road Phases One and Two.

Their redevelopment is part of efforts to fix the housing problem in the city. The county government removed the tenants who occupied 48 buildings in the middle of the night of July 15 last year. The structures were then flattened.

Reached for comment yesterday, county Lands and Housing executive Winfred Gathangu said, “Sorry, I am unable to answer your call now. Kindly call back later.” 

He did not, however, respond to text messages sent to him later. 

In September last year, Gathangu said debris was being cleared to make room for the project. "The site is still being cleared and the preliminary preparations are ongoing. The developer will move in to embark on construction once everything is cleared," he said.

"We are hoping the groundbreaking [works] will happen by the end of this month or the beginning of October." 

Months later, nothing is taking place, despite the fact that the county hurriedly forced the tenants out. Some occupants had tried to stop demolitions but their efforts were thwarted after a Nairobi court dismissed their case and declined to stop the exercise.

Previously, the project had delayed several times as a result of controversy and disputes between the county government and the tenants.

The official groundbreaking work was to be in August 2018. It was, however, postponed to December when it was announced that President Uhuru Kenyatta would preside over the launch.

It was again pushed to June last year after the county announced in May that each of the 48 tenants had received Sh600,000 to facilitate their rent for the two years they would be away as the project gets completed.

Some of the tenants had opposed the date and urged the county to allocate more time for them to relocate. They accused the county of failing to give them clear information, including a clear road map and timeline for the project.

The county heeded and gave them a deadline of August 1, 2019. However, two weeks before the deadline, they were evicted.

Phase one of the Pangani project is to cost Sh25 billion. The land was valued at Sh4 billion. Some 1,434 units are to be constructed and the 48 former tenants will be given first priority when the houses are completed.

Each tenant will get a new house that costs Sh3 million. They are to pay for the houses in a 30-year period at a negotiated monthly rent of Sh8,000.