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Old town residents want new park construction stopped

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[Old town residents protesting construction of New residential park in their area. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

Old town residents in Mombasa have called on the national government to stop the construction of a new residential park in the area.

According to the residents, the construction of the park has led to collapsing of their houses.

A resident, Omar Abdallah told journalists that the construction work has weakened their houses with one collapsing barely a day ago.

He said the construction work was authorised by both the national and Mombasa county government.

He said they are now living in fear as most of the houses in the area have developed cracks.

Heritage site

“We are not allowed to change even windows because this is a National heritage site, who permitted the constructor to build such a park?” Posed Mr. Abdallah.

He urged the authorities to immediately cease the construction.

While meeting locals to chat the way forward, Haki Africa Deputy Executive director Salma Hemed argued that the move has posed a major threat to old town residents.

She said most of the residential houses are at the verge of collapsing following the construction work.

“Though none was injured in the recent incident where a residential house tumbled, that’s signals very serious incident yet to happen in the area,” she said.

She revealed that the human rights organisation is already in discussion with the residents so as to take legal action against the Mufaddal Park owners.

Approval

The construction work undertaken by Juno Consultants and approved by the Mombasa county government is taking place in the outskirts of old port in Old town.

Infact the county government has been cautioning locals to vacate their residential areas folloiwng the instability of the residences.

In a latter dated November, 5, 2020 and signed by the county Chief building Inspector Mr. Abbas Hassan, two owners of residential buidlings in Old Town Rashid Abubakar and Ahmed Joilani Hajj were orderd to vacate their houses together with their tenants after the houses developed cracks.

[Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed inspects a cracked residential house in Old Town area. Photo/Ahmed Omar].

It was also approved by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

The area is recognised as a National heritage sites and according to the National government, no construction works should take place in the area unless approved.