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Parliament (once again) saves Seefar apartments from demolition

Parliament on Thursday ordered the immediate withdrawal of a notice issued last year by the Water Resources Management Authority (Warma) and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for the demolition of Seefar apartments in Nairobi.

The National Assembly’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee said the fate of the apartments will now be decided by the government’s multi-agency team.

“It is hereby ordered that the demolition notice issued for the demolition of Seefar apartments be vacated,” said committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki.

The committee faulted the agencies for issuing the notice without reference to any technical report.

“How was the decision to demolish Seefar apartments arrived at, when this committee has not received any report recommending the same?” asked Mr Mbiuki.

The committee made the announcement on Thursday during a meeting with Environment CS Keriako Tobiko on the status of the apartments and the moratorium on forest logging.

STRUCTURALLY SAFE

Mr Moses Nyakiongora, the secretary of the National Buildings Inspectorate, told the MPs that Seefar apartments are structurally safe, with the only fear being that the building sits on the course of the Ngong River, which it has blocked.

“The building can remain, but something must be done to the dam for the safety of the apartments,” Mr Nyakiongora said.

This is the second time the committee is coming to the rescue of Seefar apartments.

In November last year, the MPs proposed that the Nairobi dam, which is near the apartment, be destroyed in order to save the building from imminent demolition. They argued that the dam is no longer useful, so it would make more economic sense to sacrifice it and save the apartments.

They accused Warma and Nema of approving the construction of buildings, only to turn around and call for their demolition.

In October last year, Warma and Nema gave Erdemann Property a 14-day demolition notice, saying the 12-storey building with 260 units sits on the Nairobi Dam’s riparian reserve.