, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has reiterated that the Nairobi City County will not approve the construction of the proposed Sh6.9 billion Hazina Towers until the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) gets an updated Environmental Impact Assessment report from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
Speaking after touring the Hazina Trade Centre (Nakumatt Lifestyle building) on Thursday where the construction is set to take place, Kidero revealed that the last report was obtained in 2006 and as such there was need for an assessment to be redone.
He stressed that he will no give the go ahead until all the safety requirements are fully met.
“We are asking them to re-validate through public participation the Environmental Impact Assessment. What we are trying to ensure is that when this construction starts, we do not have any accidents because NSSF will need to tell us very comprehensively what safety measures they are taking because they would want to do this construction without evacuating the tenants,” he said.
He further pointed out that an updated and approved traffic management plan needs to be drawn as there would be disruption of traffic during and after the construction is completed.
“Traffic post construction has not been given any due consideration because the current snarl-up is 10 km/hr and this should go down to 5km/hr. with the current traffic congestion we have in Nairobi, special attention needs to be given either in the widening of roads or providing alternative routes,” he stated.
Kidero emphasised that the government will not approve the construction until the stipulated conditions have been met.
“We are waiting for them to fulfill those conditions so that we can allow them to start constructions. We are quite keen because it will give jobs for our people and at the same time we do not want to put the health and safety of our people at risk,” he said.
Extension of the building had stopped in July after Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi stopped all NSSF projects whose tenders had been freshly issued and directed that an audit be carried out on ongoing ones.
A few days later, Kidero added that the Fund would have to seek new approvals for the works because the current ones were obtained three years ago.
The plan involves the construction of a 31-storey office tower to add to the current eight floors, four basement levels, ground floor, two mezzanine and one podium that will result in a staggering 180-metre structure.
The building had only been commissioned by Kambi two weeks before the tender was cancelled and China Jiangxi International Kenya was the main contractor.
The building is located on Moktar Daddah road, in the central business district, and currently hosts Nakumatt Lifestyle.