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Buildings to be demolished to pave way for railway line in Mombasa



Buildings to be demolished to pave way for railway line in Mombasa

Buildings worth billions of shillings have been earmarked for demolition among them a newly build government primary school in Miritini, Mombasa county to pave way for the construction of railway line to connect Miritini rail terminus and Mombasa railway station.

Maganda Primary School which was funded by Jomvu National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), a private rehabilitation centre and several private buildings will be demolished in the coming weeks after Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) begun the project last month.

But as the project begins, hundreds of people affected by project will not benefit much from the targeted compensation plan as they they will be compensated as those with homes without land.

Majority of those who will be evicted have been living in a government scheme which for years they have not been issued with title deeds hence they are considered as squatters.

Jomvu MP Twalib Badi said he has officially written to KRC asking the corporation to consider the compensation plan since the project will render a number of them homelless.

Mr Badi said among the infrastructure to be demolished include primary school which was opened about three years ago.

“About four buildings each costing about Sh1.5 million have been earmarked for demolition among other infrastructures such as water tanks. This will force us to relocate the school which is only less than three years old,” said the MP.

He added, “We have no otherwise but to rethink relocating the school since apart from railway line, we cannot risk leaving children close to the rail as it’s mandatory to have a way leave for the rail.”

Mombasa Women Empowerment Network chairlady Amina Abdalla, an institution hosting about 90 patients being rehabilitated including veteran boxer Conjestina Achieng’ is also targeted to be pulled down.

Ms Abdalla said all dormitories, kitchen, mosque and church are among buildings will be demolished.

“Once dormitories and kitchen are gone, we cannot continue keeping patients here are transporting them everyday to another place to sleep as majority are usually violent. We will have to relocate but that will cost us big,” said Ms Abdalla.

The locals also have complained of being paid as squatters yet it’s the government which failed to give them title deeds on time.

“We have been living in this government scheme for many years. The land was adjudicated about ten years ago but due to court cases, the process has delayed for long,” said Hussein Mohammed.

In February, National Environmental and Management Authority (NEMA) gazetted guidelines on the proposed railway line project linking SGR to Mombasa Town.

The project will entail the construction of the Miritini MGR station and constructing of a railway bridge across Makupa Causeway in Mombasa.

From Miritini to Mombasa, the train plying the 2.96 kilometres line will move at 50 kilometres per hour.

“The proponent, Kenya Railways, proposes to construct a commuter metre-rail at Miritini that is a 2.96 km long, single-track railway with a designed speed of 50 km per hour, a new rail bridge crossing Makupa causeway with a length of 480 meters, a Miritini station complex building, and a steel overpassing Mombasa County,” NEMA Director-General Mamo Mamo stated.

To avoid legal battles, NEMA invited Mombasa residents to share their comments regarding the impact of the project and the mitigation measures set to protect them.

According to mitigation factors listed by NEMA, Kenya Railways and the other stakeholders involved in the project will be required to re-plant trees felled during the construction process.

Before it starts, affected families are set to be compensated and relocated. In addition, the government is set to offer them counselling services.

“Have guidance sessions on how to go about relocating and starting life in a new location,” NEMA stated.

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