Uhuru cracks the whip on Indian Ocean encroachers


Uhuru cracks the whip on Indian Ocean encroachers
President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre where he addressed a meeting bringing together all government accounting officers including Principal Secretaries, Parastatal Heads, Vice Chancellors of Public Universities and Chairmen of State Corporations on July 20, 2018. PHOTO| PSCU

In Summary

  • In a directive issued on Monday, Kenyatta said that the dumpsite should be decommissioned and the land be used for the development of recreational facilities.
  • This came following a meeting between the President, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Cabinet Secretaries Najib Balala (Tourism) and Keriako Tobiko (Environment).
  • Parliament had since launched investigations into the circumstances under which two companies were allocated a part of the Indian Ocean, raising fears of irreparable damage to the environment.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the National Land Commission (NLC) to revoke the allocation of the Kibarani dumpsite land to a private developer and hand it back to the Mombasa County Government.

In a directive issued on Monday, Kenyatta further said the dumpsite should be decommissioned and the land be used for the development of recreational facilities as part of the ongoing efforts to reposition Mombasa as a top tourism destination.

This came following a meeting between the President, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Cabinet Secretaries Najib Balala (Tourism) and Keriako Tobiko (Environment).

“President Kenyatta’s directives on the Kibarani dumpsite land and the Mombasa Regeneration Project are inline with his Big 4 development agenda in which he seeks to improve the lives of Kenyans by boosting wealth and employment creation,” said State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena.

Parliament had launched investigations into the circumstances under which two companies were allocated a part of the Indian Ocean, raising fears of irreparable damage to the environment.

Members of the National Assembly Environment Committee had now summoned the officials of the three companies involved, Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to explain how the firms were allowed to reclaim the ocean for private use.

The Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) had opposed the reclamation of the riparian land terming it as ocean encroachment.

“Following routine inspection along the Indian Ocean, two developers — Multiple Inland Container Depot and Shehena Enterprises in Nyali bridge were found to have encroached into the riparian land,” said WARMA in a letter dated September 26, 2018.

The letter added in part: “Discussions were held with their representatives and compliance orders 46982 and 46985 were issued to developers to immediately stop the ongoing works on riparian land.”

The committee, which on Sunday visited sections of Kibarani in Mombasa, claimed the ongoing reclamation is disposing harmful chemicals and particles into the ocean chocking the aquatic animals.

The MPs demanded to know why the works at the Kibarani dumpsite had not been stopped as directed by WARMA.

“At the end the process, the DPP will be here and the first casualty will be you as the NEMA County director because here is a letter that was also copied you stopping the encroachment,” said the committee chair MP Kareke Mbiuki.

“It is so pathetic that today we are standing here at Kibarani where the rivers have been polluted and people are grabbing the ocean,” said Njoro MP Charity Kathambi.

In June, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho ordered the closure of the Kibarani dumpsite within 70 days and its relocation to Mwakirunge, a site opposed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

 

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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