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Half of buildings on Nairobi's wetlands 'already demolished'

The aftermath of the demolitions along the banks of the Nairobi River, April, 20, 2018. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG
The aftermath of the demolitions along the banks of the Nairobi River, April, 20, 2018. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG 

At least half of the buildings built on riparian land have been brought down since demolition began in Nairobi more than two weeks ago.

Julius Wanjau, head of the multi-agency team carrying out the demolitions, said that about 1,000 such structures have either been flattened by his team or through voluntary individual initiatives.

He stated that most of the structures are part of the over 2,000 structures on wetlands that had been earmarked for demolition by the multiagency task force and had been served with notice.

“Many people that had marks on their buildings have demolished most of the marked areas themselves, making our work easier now.

"Kileleshwa area, Kombo Munyiri just behind Kamukunji Police Station and Kiruga area have had such individual demolitions,” said Mr Wanjau.

The head of the Nairobi Regeneration Committee command centre explained that several of the illegal buildings and walls have been sitting right on river beds contrary to environmental laws.

Three weeks ago

The ongoing demolitions started three weeks ago in Kileleshwa before proceeding to Westlands. The operation is expected to take two months.

About 4,000 buildings in Nairobi were earmarked for demolition in including the 2,000 said to be on wetlands.

In June, the parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources identified Limuru Road, Lang’ata Road, Arboretum Road, Spring Valley, Globe Cinema Round-About, Riverside Drive, Westlands, Parklands, Fuata Nyayo estate in South B, Village Market, Gem Suites in Riverside and Alina Villas in Spring Valley as some of the areas with developments sitting on river banks.

The regeneration exercise received Sh800 million in 2018/19 financial year.

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