A Nairobi court has dealt the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) a blow after blocking the execution of an eviction order that would have forced the eviction of over 500 residents of an informal settlement in Langata.

This comes after the affected residents under the Animal Farm Association Settlement located in Langata filed a petition against an eviction notice NEMA issued.

They argued the notice was unlawful and also accused NEMA of taking over the National Land Commission’s role in managing public land.

The residents also accused NEMA of acting on behalf of an undisclosed private entity.

NEMA issued a thirty-day eviction notice to vacate the area because it was someone else’s property.

The authority also said the residents of the settlement had encroached into the Nairobi National Park and destroyed the fence.

Environment and Land Court’s Justice Ogutu Mboya certified the case as urgent and issued an Interim Conservatory order barring NEMA from evicting the occupants of the informal settlement.

“In the meantime, an Interim Conservatory Order be and is hereby Issued to bar or prohibit the Respondents herein, or anyone of them, from carrying out and undertaking the imminent Eviction or Evacuation of the Petitioners or their Families from the Suit Property, pending the Inter Partes Hearing on the return Date,” Ogutu ruled.

Ogutu further directed the case to be mentioned on March 23, 2023, for directions.

The petitioners wanted the court to declare that the intended eviction, without being offered an alternative piece of land or accommodation a violation of their rights.

They assert that they have established residences and businesses in the area for over three decades and have known it to be their home residence and source of income.