AIMING FOR CITY STATUS

Show Kakamega structures approved or face bulldozer – county

Given 60 days to confirm plans fully approved or buildings demolished

In Summary
  • Kakamega has recently demolished temporary structures to reorganise the town in readiness for attaining city status.
  • The county government is considering either pulling down or regularising the Just Kali estate built on land that was identified for artisans' sheds.
Kakamega Land executive Alfred Matianyi in his office.
FAKE TITLES Kakamega Land executive Alfred Matianyi in his office.
Image: HILTON OTENYO

Property owners in Kakamega county have been given 60 days to confirm plans for their structures were fully approved — or they will be demolished at their expense.

In an advertisement in local dailies, the county government also asked all developers intending to develop land to submit all building plans including signage and advertisement billboards for vetting and approval before commencing construction.

Those who already commenced development of land without required approvals are to regularise the process within the same period or demolition of their structures at their own cost.

"Any developer found not to have complied with this notice shall be guilty of an offence under Section 57 of the Physical and Land Use Planning Act 2019," the notice read.

County executive for land and urban areas Alfred Matianyi said the county shall, after 60 days, execute the relevant legislation and recover from the developers as civil debt any expenses incurred.

Section 57(3) of the Act says a county CEC member shall require a person who commenced development without obtaining development permission to restore the land to its original condition or as near to its original condition as possible within 90 days.

The Act provides for a Sh500,000 fine or two months' imprisonment, or both, for anyone found developing land without approvals.

Matianyi said the move is meant to ensure the safety of buildings, not only in Kakamega town but also the entire county.

Section of bus park in Kakamega town.
UNPLANNED: Section of bus park in Kakamega town.
Image: HILTON OTENYO

Applications to regularise will include five copies of building plans, land ownership documents, payment of approval fees and duly filled application forms. 

Kakamega has recently demolished temporary structures in the town to reorganise the town in preparation for acquiring city status.

The county has issued demolition notices to some developers believed to have constructed multi-storey buildings on public land.

The county government is considering either pulling down or regularising the Just Kali estate which has been built on land identified for artisans' sheds.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has said that he intends to transform Kakamega town to city status before 2022.

For a town to be upgraded to city status it must have a population of at least 250, 000.

Two months ago, Oparanya launched a new municipality charter that expanded the municipality area from 49 square kilometres to 183 square kilometres to raise the population requirements for the planned upgrade.

Kakamega town still faces acute shortage services such as sewerage and piped water coverage.

(Edited by V. Graham)

Kakamega county headquarters.
HEADQUARTERS: Kakamega county headquarters.
Image: HILTON OTENYO