Confusion as NEMA now disowns demolition of Nairobi buildings


South End Mall in Nairobi.
South End Mall in Nairobi.

In Summary

  • This comes after the management of Ukay Centre produced letters from NEMA and WRA approving canalisation of River Kibarage.
  • In this case, Ukay Centre canalised the river before construction of buildings adjacent to it.
  • Buildings near River Kibarage such as Nakumatt Ukay had been reportedly earmarked for demolition with the owners saying that tenants started moving out in fear of losing their businesses.

The National Environment Management Authority has now denied reports linking them to the recent demolitions of buildings on riparian land.

According to NEMA, the demolition of Java House Kileleshwa, South End Mall among other structures was also not authorised by the Water Resources Authority as earlier indicated.

They were speaking on Thursday when they appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

NEMA officials claimed that the demolitions were sanctioned under the Nairobi Regeneration project.

The revelations sparked outrage with the House committee demanding that those who authorised construction of buildings on riparian land be investigated and prosecuted.

“The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the DPP must investigate and prosecuted officials found culpable,” Mbiuki said.

Tharaka Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki, who is also the committee chairman, demanded that State agencies take responsibility for issuing licenses against the law.

This comes after the management of Ukay Centre produced letters from NEMA and WRA approving canalisation of River Kibarage.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines canalisation as creation of a system of water channels.

In this case, Ukay Centre canalised the river before construction of buildings adjacent to it.

Buildings near River Kibarage such as Nakumatt Ukay had been reportedly earmarked for demolition with the owners saying that tenants had started moving out in fear of losing their businesses.

“If you go to Ukay Centre, Nakumatt Ukay is closed. Tenants are leaving. I was going to collapse here. Let the media know we are being taken round and round,” one of the owners told the House team.

 

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Story By Sam Gituku
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