• The project has a unique background as the 55 acres of land had been grabbed by cartels before being recovered by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
• Upon recovery, the government turned it into useful public land, where 15,000 affordable housing units will be set up.
President William Ruto will on Monday afternoon preside over the ground-breaking ceremony for affordable housing project at Mukuru kwa Reuben.
This will be his first project to preside over in his capacity as the head of state.
Emmanuel Talam who is Ruto's director of communication confirmed the attendance as well as the Ministry of Housing director of communications John Kaplich.
The project has a unique background as the 55 acres of land had been grabbed by cartels before being recovered by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The land belonged to the Meteorological Department but was grabbed 24 years ago.
Upon recovery, the government turned it into useful public land, where 15,000 affordable housing units will be set up.
Principal secretary for Housing and Urban Planning Charles Hinga in December 2021 disclosed that the government had already moved to the site and construction work had started.
The EACC recovered the land that is worth more than Sh5 billion in August 2020.
Justice Elijah Obaga of the Environment and Lands Court ordered the cancellation of title deeds issued to five companies for the land, and ordered the firms barred from trespassing.
Recovery proceedings commenced in 2009, and it took the EACC 11 years to recover the land that was grabbed in 1997 through fraudulent practices at the Ministry of Lands.
Former President Daniel Moi's directive in 1999 for all government agencies to process title deeds for land they owned set in motion a grabbing spree, and Met was one of the victims.
The judge also ruled that Met's headquarters has always been on Ngong Road and that evidence in court proved the land was illegally transferred to the five companies.
According to PS Hinga, the plan is to build between 12,000 to 15,000 housing units on these sites, and to have area residents become homeowners.
The first five blocks are already under construction as well as works on sewers, drainage and roads.
Once complete, the site will have a fire station, shopping centre and kindergarten.
The project will provide direct and indirect employment to more than 100,000 youth and support suppliers of numerous locally sourced inputs.
The project was part of former President Uhuru Kenyatta's affordable housing programme under the Big Four agenda.
Mukuru slums with almost half a million people is divided into five areas: Kwa Njenga, Kwa Reuben, Fuata Nyayo, Pipeline and Viwandani.
In August 2017, Mukuru was declared as a Special Planning Area (SPA) by the Nairobi City County government.
That declaration put a stop to further developments in the area for two years until a Mukuru Integrated Development Plan is produced.
However, when the Nairobi Metropolitan Services was established in 2020, its director general Mohammed Badi extended the SPA period for two years.
The move conformed with Uhuru’s March 18, 2020, directive to Badi to upgrade slums in the capital.
The project started in Mukuru because development in such areas remained a huge challenge. Residents have difficulties accessing basic needs such as housing, water and healthcare.
One of the many objectives of the declaration was to develop ways that would promote the safety and health of residents.