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Houses on or near Nairobi River banks demolished over Pollution

Nairobi houses demolished over River pollution. PHOTO | BARAKA F
Nairobi houses demolished over River pollution. PHOTO | BARAKA F

Over 4000 buildings to be demolished in Nairobi to secure Nairobi river over pollution. Private developers have encroached the River and have become a dump site for many households in the county.

The operation expected to take two months kicked off yesterday in Kileleshwa. A Java coffee house within the Shell petrol station and perimeter walls of several residential apartments in the upmarket estate were pulled down.

Some of the apartments were discharging effluent into the river. Several kiosks, billboards and a swimming pool were also cleared. The scenic river's path has been invaded by dumping and unscrupulous developers.

In May, the team identified over 600 pollution points along the stream and acknowledged the urgency of the clean-up. Nairobi Central Business District chief Julius Wanjau, who is in charge of the operation, said the owners of the buildings had been issued with three months and extra seven days notices to vacate.

The notices have expired.
"We are going to continue with demolitions until we reach the National Museum. Then we will move to Gikomba, Ruai and Nairobi West," Wanjau said.

Wanjau acknowledged that bribery was the major challenge he and his officers face in executing the demolition order.

"I am being called by strange numbers telling me to stop this exercise so that we can talk. I am receiving money on Mpesa from new numbers and I'm forced to send back," he said.

"Nema and the Water Resources Management Authority suffer because of accusations. I request the committee to help the National Building Inspectorate to implement the report," he said.

According to NEMA, the River has been much polluted within Nairobi and the board has decided to demolish together with the County all buildings, Businesses and any infrastructure within the river banks.

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