On April 12, 2019, the Inspection Panel received a Request for Inspection of the World Bank-financed Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (P107314).
The Requesters’ concerns relate to plans to redevelop the area in which they live. They allege that such plans are being financed under the project and will result in evictions of community members and the demolition of cultural and historical facilities, which they claim are of “sentimental value” to the community members. The Requesters are concerned that a planned household survey may not be adequately conducted since previous ones “neglected to capture” all residents. They claim that the earlier land-take in their area was not legal, and based on “skewed public participation.”
The Panel issued a Notice of Registration in response to the Request for Inspection on May 13, 2019.
Panel Member Ramanie Kunanayagam and Senior Operations Officer Serge Selwan visited Kenya from June 19 to 23, 2019 and met with a variety of stakeholders.
Bank management, in its response to the Request for Inspection, had stated that the claims cited in the Request are unrelated to the project and have been incorrectly associated with it.
In its Report and Recommendation, sent to the Board on July 16, 2019, the Panel recommended not to investigate the project.
In making the recommendation, the Panel observed that the Requesters’ concerns around immediate evictions are not related to the Bank project. The Panel further noted Bank management’s commitment to have the Strategic Environmental Assessment prepared under the project include the Muthurwa area and to conduct community consultations for that purpose. However, the Panel acknowledged the issues raised by the Requesters relating to Muthurwa are serious and that the members of the Muthurwa community are justifiably confused about the way various development activities, some of which do not involve the Bank, are taking place in Muthurwa.
The Board of Executive Directors approved the Panel’s recommendation on July 30, 2019.