Floods: Get out, residents of wealthy estates ordered

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 06:31 | By
A flooded homestead in Runda Estate. PHOTO/Print
A flooded homestead in Runda Estate. PHOTO/Print

Residents of Runda, Lavington and Kileleshwa in Nairobi living on riparian land have been directed to move immediately ahead of planned demolitions.

The government is firm on encroachment and will not consider someone’s socio-economic status, said government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura.

“The issue of demolitions should not be politicised at all. The same way we did in Mathare, we are also going to do in Runda, Kileleshwa and the so-called big estates,” Mwaura said.

The order came amid claims that the government was targeting residents of slums while some wealthy estates sit on riparian land but houses there have not been demolished.

Last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki directed the Nairobi regional and county security teams to work with the Nairobi County government and the National Disaster Operation Centre (NDOC) and ensure  people living along rivers were removed.

In a statement on Thursday, Kindiki said the evacuation was mandatory and removing structures would begin immediately after residents moved to safer places.

The targeted areas are those “within the 30-metre riparian land along the Nairobi Rivers (Mathare, Ngong and Nairobi Rivers)”, Kindiki said.

The government will provide temporary shelter, food and essensial non-food supplies to families who will be affected by the evacuation and planned demolitions.

An assessment by the Nairobi Rivers Commission last week revealed that illegal human activities had obstructed the waterways and altered the course of most rivers.

Uncompleted projects started by a contractor from Athi Water Works had exacerbated the situation, resulting in significant losses and damage worth billions of shillings.

 “The county government and law enforcement agencies are urged to take decisive action against illegal encroachments and activities along the Ruaka River,” Mwaura said.

This includes the demolition of unlawfully constructed structures and the rigorous enforcement of environmental laws to prevent further degradation of the rivers and surrounding areas.”

Residents whose houses are targeted for demolition have said they don’t know where to go, even though the government claims they were notified about their options.

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