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Nairobi MCAs pass law authorising demolitions on road reserves

Several buildings in Nairobi will be pulled down after the county assembly passed a law that paves the way for demolition of all unauthorised constructions.

The buildings targeted by the Nairobi City County Regularisation of Developments Bill include commercial buildings that do not meet the standards set by National Construction Authority (NCA) and the county government’s Planning and Housing Department.

Structures on river banks, road reserves, forest land and public land such as school playgrounds will also be demolished.

“All unauthorised development, which is not regularised under this Act after the expiry of the regularised period shall be liable for demolition,” says the Act, which is awaiting assent by the governor.

It adds that the supply of water or electricity to such buildings shall be liable to disconnection without notice.

The law had been proposed last year but lapsed before going for the second reading. The interest in the Bill grew again after some buildings collapsed in the city early this year.

The county government republished the proposed law and introduced it before the assembly early this year.

An audit team constituted to investigate why the buildings were collapsing observed that they were built without approval of the relevant authorities.

The audit team comprising officials from the NCA, county governments and the Buildings Inspectorate, a department in the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ministry, noted that the buildings were constructed by rogue contractors.

The team also found out that several buildings have been constructed on river banks and wetland.

The audit report cited these structures as one of the causes of massive flooding experienced in the city recently, as they interfere with the smooth flow of rivers.

On Tuesday, while opening a road in Dagoretti, Governor Evans Kidero warned that buildings erected on river banks and wetland would be demolished.

He cited a building in Jamhuri Estate, which he said would soon be brought down.

Corrupt City Hall officials have been accused of allocating private developers land earmarked as public utility.

The governor is required by the new law to establish a regularisation advisory committee to ensure investors and contractors clearly understand the construction regulations.

According to the new law, the committee members shall comprise an urban planning expert, a surveyor nominated by the Kenya Institute of Surveying and Mapping and an environment expert.

The committee will also have an engineer nominated by the Institute of Engineers of Kenya and an Architect nominated by the Architectural Association of Kenya, county executive for Fiance, county legal officer and chief officers responsible for planning and lands.

Other members will be a planner nominated by the Kenya Institute of Planners.