Nairobi News

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Illegal businesses along road corridors to be brought down

Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) are set to embark on demolition of structures and relocation of businesses along the authority’s road corridors in Nairobi County.

On Wednesday, the government agency gave individuals running such businesses 24 hours to vacate the road corridors or face forceful eviction starting Thursday.

Kura head of Corporate Communication Mr John Cheboi said that more than 50 per cent of the authority’s roads in the capital city have been encroached on by people who have set up illegal businesses including kiosks, stalls or parking services, garage and car wash.

“We have kicked off an exercise to protect the corridors along roads in Nairobi and we are starting from Kilimani area before going to Lang’ata and other parts of the county. We want to discourage people from putting up kiosks along the corridors especially those on drainages as it makes it difficult to maintain them,” said Mr Cheboi.

The officer stated that the operation is part of the regeneration programme of the capital city to transform it into a modern city and involves different players such as the police and the county.

“We want to make Nairobi a better and modern city where systems are in order and functional. If our drainages and roads are not functional then what kind of city are we living in?” posed Cheboi.

BLOCKED DRAINAGES

Mr Cheboi stated that the main agenda of the exercise which kicked off on Wednesday is to make sure that roads and footpaths are not encroached while the drainages are functional and not clogged by those running car wash services on such roads.

He pointed out that when it rains, the blocked drainages lead to flooding in the roads which eventually wears out the roads.

“We want to make sure that the footpaths and drainages are functional. It is not good for us to put the footpaths yet other people are using them for parking vehicles, setting up stalls and so on,” he said.

Mr Cheboi explained that water mixed with soap that is used by the youths who run the car wash services have a long term effect on the road as it damages the road resulting in potholes which are expensive to repair.

“We are aware that there are youths who have been using sections of the new roads to wash vehicles. Water and soap in a road for a long time will destroy the road causing potholes. It is very expensive to maintain the roads as it takes over Sh20, 000 to repair a single pothole,” said Mr Cheboi.

But the youths said that they have nowhere to go, stating that they have not been given an alternative place by either the county or the national government.

“Where will we go and this is our only source of livelihood? We have been here for more than 5 years,” said one of the youth working in a car wash along Ole Nguruone Road in Lavington.