PUBLIC SPACES

Nairobi MCA calls for probe on land grabbing in Pipeline area

Residents claim there is no free space for construction of a public school or health centre

In Summary

• Ward Rep Stephen Gikonyo cited poor planning, non–enforcement of planning laws, corruption and uncoordinated constructions have contributed to perennial interference and misuse of public spaces in Nairobi.

• Legislator said that unless such public spaces are reclaimed by the county and properly managed, residents will be unable to enjoy the benefits that come along with such spaces.

Pipeline Estate,Nairobi/
Pipeline Estate,Nairobi/
Image: MERCY MUMO

Residents in Nairobi’s Pipeline estate have raised concerns over the rampant cases of land grabbing in the area.

Through their ward rep Stephen Gikonyo, the locals have decried that currently there is no free land that can be used for recreational purposes for children, noting two parcels of grabbed land; FR.341/49 LR No.27683/1 LR No. 27683/2 and  FR. 341/48 LR No. 27683/156 LR No.27683/240

Through a statement to the assembly’s lands and Planning committee on Tuesday, Gikonyo explained that land grabbing was a worrying trend explaining there was no free space where a public school or health centre can be constructed.

“It is unfortunate that in Pipeline there is no single public school or health centre because there is no free land for construction,” he said.

“Poor planning, non–enforcement of planning laws, corruption and uncoordinated constructions have contributed to perennial interference and misuse of public spaces in the count,” Gikonyo added.

Raising concern, the legislator noted that unless such public spaces are reclaimed by the county and properly managed, residents will be unable to enjoy the benefits that come along with such spaces.

“ In Pipeline, we have constructed roads, installed street lights but we lack basic things such as a health centre and a school due to land being grabbed,” Gikonyo said.

As a result, the ward rep has urged both the Nairobi Metropolitan Service and County Executive to reclaim all grabbed public spaces and convert them into best interests of the public and county.

In the statement, he urged the chairperson for Lands Committee to inquire into and report on the history and ownership of the two blocks of land and whether public participation was conducted before allocating the said two blocks of land to private developers.

Last year in October, city legislators wanted an ad hoc committee formed to probe the grabbing of public land in the county.

They said the relevant county department has failed to rectify the many anomalies dating back to 2017.

NMS undertook the matter and promised to arrest public land grabbers in the city.