Blow to Sinai fire victims as court declines to award them compensation


Blow to Sinai fire victims as court declines to award them compensation

The High Court has declined to award 25 billion shillings sought by survivors of the Nairobi’s Sinai slum fire.

Instead, the court directed them to file a proper suit where they will claim for damages to recover personal injury damages.

The court further ruled that the claimants are obliged to file a suit in negligence for recovery of damages where each claimant will have to prove their individual loss in addition to establish the tests of liability with regard to breach of duty, causation and damages.

“It is unnecessary whether to decide whether the claimants may recover personal injury damages through a constitutional law as there is already a procedure in common law and statute through which he matter may be conveniently and full resolved. The court ruled that it is a matter of private civil law for damages for personal injury,” the court ruled.

High Court Judge, Edward Muriithi, noted that the respondents who are involved in slum upgrading and relocating slum dwellers have to ensure that the persons living in the said slums settlements enjoy the rights to clean environment, health and housing in order to live in the dignity which is the object of constitutional guarantee.

“As part of that programme the persons living in the slums may be removed subject to adequate and reasonable notice,” Justice Murithi ruled.

The respondents were also directed to include Sinai settlement as part of its Slum Upgrading and Prevention Programme with Liberty to relocate otherwise compensate the person’s resident therein order to clear the Kenya Pipeline way-leave.

In the meantime, the respondent have been directed to provide such services to the persons resident in Sinai Slums as are necessary for the enjoyment of their rights to health, sanitation, adequate housing and dignity in accordance with the Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011.

More than a hundred people died in the slum fire on September 12, 2011 following an oil spill from the Kenya Pipeline Corporation pipes.

Over 300 residents drawn from Hazina, Mukuru Kayaba, Tetra Pack and Sinai stated how they have resided in the area for over 40 years and were victims of negligence by companies which do not want to follow industrial and NEMA laws.

Those sued include the Attorney General, Nairobi City County, Kenya Pipeline Company Limited (KPC), National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the Kenya Railways Corporation (KR).

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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