Ukay Centre Westlands Facing Demolition as Crackdown Continues

  • Ukay Centre in Westlands is among buildings in Nairobi facing demolition as part of a multi-agency operation meant to recover grabbed wetlands in the city.

    Between June 26 and 28, members of a National Assembly committee alongside National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officials inspected buildings alleged to have been constructed on riparian land.

    A report by the Departmental Committee on Environment and National Resources established that the building which houses Nakumatt Ukay Supermarket and the car park had encroached on a riparian reserve.

    It was further noted that NEMA had lost a court battle against Ukay as they sought to have the building and car park removed.

    In May 2016, Nakumatt Ukay made the headlines after photos emerged showing water flowing through the shelves at a time of heavy rains, leaving the supermarket flooded.

    [caption caption="Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi"][/caption]

    "Arising from the flash flooding challenges experienced in parts of Nairobi and specifically at the Ukay Centre shopping mall in the Westlands business district, on Saturday night, Nakumatt Holdings, wishes to confirm the temporary suspension of operations at Nakumatt Ukay Supermarket,” a statement issued at the time read in part.

    The management of Ukay centre, however, insists that the land does not sit on riparian land but rather 10 metres away from a canalised stream.

    On Wednesday, Southend Mall in Lang'ata, Nairobi was demolished as it was said to block the flow of the Mutuini-Ngong' river, causing flooding in Nairobi West and South C areas.

    Other buildings targeted for demolition include Fuata Nyayo informal settlement, Plot No 209/12227 off Mbagathi Way, Riverside Lane, off Riverside Drive, LR No 209/12184 along Lower Kabete Road, LR No 209/18650 along Chiromo Road/Arboretum Drive, Riverside Drive Taj Apartments, Village Market wastewater treatment plant and a car park at Westgate.

    A number of tenants at Ukay were seen packing their goods in anticipation of the demolition but others have chosen to stay put.

    [caption caption="A flooded parking lot at Ukay Centre in 2016"][/caption]

    [caption caption="Flood water flowing through the shelves at Nakumatt Ukay in May 2016"][/caption]