NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – The Water Resources Management Authority say Seefar apartments in Highrise sit on riparian land and pose a risk to the occupants.
While appearing before County Assembly’s Housing and Planning committee, the WRMA Regional Manager John Kinyanjui explained to members that the apartment is close to Nairobi Dam and on the other side encroaches on Ngong River, a scenario which could be disastrous in the event the dam starts leaking.
“The building is on riparian land from the side of the Ngong River and also from Nairobi Dam. It is unfortunate that we issued two notices one in 2011 and another in 2012 during the initial stages of the construction which were both ignored by the developer,” he said.
The Kiragu-led Committee cited failure on the part of WRMA for failing to give recommendations to the relevant authorities for enforcement after the developer disregarded the notices.
The members also put to task the water authority to explain why they allowed construction of the building continue despite knowing that it was unsafe.
“Don’t you feel that it’s unfair to those people who bought those apartments because the advertisements were all over the media and you didn’t come out and just when only one unit is remaining is when we are seeing these notices?,” posed Kiragu.
Kinyanjui however defended the water authority that they were not in any way involved in the approval process.
The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) on October 13 issued a 14-day demolition notice to the developer of the apartments indicating that the apartments sit on Nairobi Dam’s riparian land.
More than 250 home owners risk losing their life savings if authorities go ahead to demolish the houses, which leads to the question of who is to be held responsible since the owner of the building says it was approved by NEMA,WRMA and the National Construction Authority.
The statement by the water authority contradicts a report by an independent surveyor Erick Mithamo who says Seefar apartments do not sit on riparian land.
According to the surveyor, Seefar is 42 km away from the highest point of embankment of the dam, 12 meters beyond the legal threshold.
Mithamo states that he acquired survey data from the Survey of Kenya headquarters in Ruaraka and F/R 279/62 was used.
A number of buildings marked to be on riparian land and others on road reserves have been brought down since the operations begun in July this year.
Key buildings that have been demolished so far include Southend Mall, Ukay and Airgate among others.