Vacate riparian reserves or we’ll evict you by force – Kindiki tells encroachers

Friday, May 10th, 2024 16:25 | By
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki leads residents in Saku, Marsabit County to plant trees as part of the National Tree Growing Programme on May 10, 2024. PHOTO/X (@KindikiKithure)

Kithure Kindiki, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Interior and National Administration, has issued a stern warning to individuals living and operating on riparian reserves, urging them to vacate the areas immediately or face forced eviction.

Speaking in Saku, Marsabit County, on Friday, May 10, 2024, where he joined residents to plant trees as part of the National Tree Growing Programme, Kindiki lamented that many people living on riparian land have been displaced by floods.

He emphasized that the government has a duty to protect its citizens and the environment.

"Katika sehemu nyingi kuna watu wamejenga katika mito. Tuliona pale Nairobi tumepoteza watu wengi ambao walikua wamejenga katika ile mito kule Nairobi na sehemu zingine," Kindiki noted.

The Interior CS insisted that riparian dwellers must vacate, noting that the law does not allow anyone to live within 30 meters of a river," Kindiki said.

"Safari hii tumesema lazima wahame. Lazima watoke katika sehemu zilitengewa mito kulingana a sheria za nchi yetu ambayo inasema yakwamba huwezi kujenga ama kufanya maendeleo yoyote ama kulima mita thelatini kando ya mto," he said.

Kindiki attributed the increased threat of flooding to the widespread disregard of planning laws by many Kenyans.

"But many of us in this country have disregarded our planning laws, we have encroached on riparian reserves and the floods today are becoming more vicious and more dangerous because of our inability to protect our riparian corridors," he said.

Kindiki called on those living on riparian reserves to leave voluntarily but warned that the government would not hesitate to use force if necessary to evict them.

"This time round the government has ordered all those people who have constructed houses, businesses or those who are farming in the riparian corridors to vacate that corridor and if they don't we will remove them by force," he said.

The Interior CS also emphasized the importance of addressing climate change and its devastating effects on the environment.

"We consider climate change and its devastating effects as a National security threat. We must reclaim our environment by growing enough trees for ecological sustainability," he added.

The warning comes as Kenya faces severe flooding threats, particularly during the rainy season.

The government has launched several initiatives to address the issue, including the National Tree Growing Programme, which aims to promote sustainable forestry practices and reduce the risk of flooding.

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