"They found bulldozers crushing their houses” – Kenyan activist on forced evictions

22 mars 2012

Minicah Hamisi Otieno was a resident of Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum in Nairobi, Kenya, for nine years, until she was evicted without warning by the authorities.

Now she is an activist against forced evictions, and Secretary of Nairobi’s Rapid Response Team, a city-wide group of informal settlement residents and local human rights defenders.

Listen to Minicah’s account of a forced eviction which took place in February 2012, during which three people died:

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Kenyan activist and former slum dweller Minicah Otieno on witnessing a forced eviction in Nairobi

On Thursday 22 March Minicah joined other slum activists at a public forum organized by Amnesty International and partners, a parallel event to the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development which is taking place this week in Nairobi.

In an online chat activists described how living without security of tenure makes them feel as if they are “sitting on a timebomb” and “like a patient in intensive care”.

Asked how their governments treat people living in slums, a Kenyan activist commented “In Kenya, slum dwellers are treated as fourth-hand citizens, ignorant, illiterate, poor and desperate criminals”.

To support people living in slums and informal settlements across Africa who are calling for an end to forced evictions and for governments to fulfil their right to adequate housing, please sign the petition.