NEMA Distances Itself From Ongoing Demolitions

  • A puzzle ensued when the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) denied reports linking them to recent demolitions of buildings on riparian land.

    NEMA stated that the demolition of Java House Kileleshwa, South End Mall and other structures was also not authorised by the Water Resources Authority as earlier indicated.

    Speaking on Thursday before the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, NEMA officials alleged that the demolitions were sanctioned under the Nairobi Regeneration project.

    The revelations sparked outrage with the House committee demanding those who authorised construction of buildings on riparian land to be investigated and prosecuted.

    [caption caption="Members of the Environment and Natural Resources (in the middle) Chairman Kareke Mbiuki"][/caption]

    Tharaka Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki, who is also the committee chairman stated, “The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the DPP must investigate and prosecute officials found culpable.”

    The committee chairman also demanded State agencies to take responsibility for issuing licenses against the law.

    These revelations came after the management of Ukay Centre produced letters from NEMA and WRA approving canalisation of River Kibarage.

    Canalization is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the creation of a system of water channels, therefore, in this case, Ukay Centre canalised the river before construction of buildings adjacent to it.

    Buildings near River Kibarage such as Nakumatt Ukay were allegedly earmarked for demolition with the owners maintaining that tenants had started moving out in fear of losing their businesses.

    [caption caption="Environment and Natural Resources Chairman Kareke Mbiuki"][/caption]

    One of the owners told the House team stated, “If you go to Ukay Centre, Nakumatt Ukay is closed. Tenants are leaving. I was going to collapse here. Let the media know we are being taken round and round.”