It is a fresh round of tears and pain for developers who have built on airport land with property worth billions set for demolition. An estimated 50 warehouses will be pulled down before October 28 when direct flights from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to New York commence.
Undeveloped plots will also be restored to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). Safety concerns are said to have informed the latest planned demolitions, specifically for travelers to and from the United States – a country that is highly sensitive to terror threats.
Should the properties be pulled down, it would be reminiscent of the round of demolitions in Syokimau in 2011 where devastated owners cried their hearts out as they helplessly watched bulldozers rip apart their newly built homes.
Moses Nyakiongora, the chairman of the multi-sectoral committee on unsafe structures, said that a two-week notice dated September 28 seeking the removal of the buildings was intended to guarantee aviation safety without risking human lives on the ground.
The notice, which was served on 500 properties, including those around JKIA, Wilson Airport and the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) staff quarters in Embakasi Village, expired last Friday.