Airport shanties pulled down

Saturday November 19 2011

The scene at Mitumba Slums near Wilson Airport Nairobi where hundreds of shanty homes were demolished November 19,2011 in the ongoing repossession of public land. WILLIAM OERI

Hundreds of shanties were demolished in Mitumba slums near Wilson Airport on Saturday as part of the operation to reclaim government land and clear structures situated next to vital installations.

The demolitions in the slum situated at the end of the airport runway started at around 7 am.

The slum covers an area of four square kilometres and is bordered by the Nairobi National Park in the south, Parkview estate in the east, South C estate in the west and Nairobi Industrial Area in the north.

Sixth demolition

This was the sixth demolition drive after Eastleigh, Kyang’ombe, KPA slums, Syokimau and the Embakasi manyattas.

Lang’ata divisional police boss Rono Bunei led about 200 police officers drawn from the AP, regular police and the Dog Unit in the operation.


Kenya Airports Authority corporate communications manager Dominic Ngigi said the agency had notified the residents to vacate the area three years ago and the demolitions were meant to eliminate the possibility of an aviation disaster in the future.

“The demolition is inevitable because the alternative is a disaster waiting to happen. We’re doing this to save people. If a mishap were to happen, the damage would be catastrophic as the village is directly on the flight path. This is very serious in the aviation industry. As responsible players in the industry, we cannot sit by and wait for a disaster to happen,” Mr Ngigi said.

About 3,000 people were living in the slum that was established in the early 1980s.

Two primary schools and an SDA church were also destroyed.