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Kidero softens stance on planned demolitions

County Hall has softened its stand on the planned demolition of buildings flouting the authority’s bylaws.

Governor Evans Kidero told a gathering of county assembly members and Nairobi MPs that his office would instead form a committee to assess the plans of buildings already inhabited.

In his ‘State of the County Address’, Dr Kidero said it would be unfair to  bring down the buildings without first determining how they came about.

“All these buildings were built using Kenyans’ money. Where a building has certain issues, we will ensure that the landlords comply with the requirements, but we will not bring them down.

We will only demolish buildings if they pose risks to the safety and health of Nairobians,” he told the County Assembly.

Although he admitted that 60 per cent of buildings in the county had not been approved, the Governor argued there was need for the Assembly to pass laws that would ensure proper regulation of the construction industry.

He also called on the county government to pass laws that would help control development and end construction of substandard buildings.

“I have said before that we need Bills to allow for regularisation of buildings that do not meet the set standard or which were not approved,” the Governor told journalists.

Next week, the county is expected to name a team that will review all buildings.

Dr Kidero said all building owners  would be required to submit plans even if they had already completed their construction. It will be a breather to most property owners who had initially skipped approval, partly because of the lengthy process of getting one or to avoid costs.