Economy

Lifeline for home owners in Ngong Forest land row

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MP Kareke Mbiuki, Environment and Forestry committee chair. PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The National Assembly’s Environment and Forestry committee says the law was followed in hiving off the 53.68 hectares where Sunvalley I, II & III Estates, and Royal Park Estate are built.
  • However, the committee found that the law was not followed in the excision of 34 acres where KMA Estate, Langata Gardens Estate, Langata View Estate, Shalom Estate, St Mary’s Hospital, and Forest Edge/View Estates are located.
  • The Environment ministry had threatened to demolish the houses as part of the government’s efforts to reclaim more than 6,000 acres of land that had been illegally hived off the Ngong Road forest.

Parliament has slammed brakes on the government's plan to demolish homes built on land allegedly hived off Ngong Road Forest, handing property owners a huge relief from impending losses.

The National Assembly’s Environment and Forestry committee says the law was followed in hiving off the 53.68 hectares where Sunvalley I, II & III Estates, and Royal Park Estate are built.

“The committee resolves to caution the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to cease issuing threats to the residents, owners or proprietors of developments located within the 53.68 hectares as the law relating to declaration that a forest area shall cease to be a forest area with respect to the aforementioned area was followed,” the committee said in a report to the House.

However, the committee found that the law was not followed in the excision of 34 acres where KMA Estate, Langata Gardens Estate, Langata View Estate, Shalom Estate, St Mary’s Hospital, and Forest Edge/View Estates are located.

The committee wants the government to regularise the excision of land occupied by KMA Estate, Langata Gardens Estate, Langata View Estate, Shalom Estate, St Mary’s Hospital, Forest Edge View Estate, Langata Women Prison, the Police Dog Unit, Bomas of Kenya, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya and International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) to support the realisation of the government’s Big Four agenda on housing and stop further encroachment of Ngong Road through the practice of allocation and subsequent surrender of land between government departments.

“The committee further recommends that the residents, owners or proprietors of developments located within the said 34 acres and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry enter into negotiations with an aim to reach an amicable solution for peaceful coexistence,” Kareke Mbiuki, who chairs the committee, said in a report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday

The committee probed a petition over alleged demolitions of houses and repossession of land within Lang'ata constituency.

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko had said that the land that hosts the Sun Valley (Phases 1-3), Forest View, Lang’ata Place, Lang’ata View Apartments, Royal Park, St Mary’s Apartment, KMA Lang’ata and Shalom estates was illegally acquired by private developers.

The ministry threatened to demolish the houses as part of the government’s efforts to reclaim more than 6,000 acres of land that had been illegally hived off the Ngong Road forest.

The Environment committee commenced investigations after the ministry released a list of names of individuals and companies accused of grabbing part of Ngong Road Forest land setting the stage for the evictions.