OR RISK DEMOLITIONS

Residents given seven days to vacate Garissa showground land

County says it wants to build a recreational facility and a trade show hosting zone in the area

In Summary

'I have said time and again that people should respect public land. Why would you encroach or put up a structure or building on a land that you very well know is not yours and when we act you start lamenting'

Garissa Urban Planning executive Abdi Omar [in front] when he made an impromtu tour of the Garissa ASK Showground on Saturday, March 21, 2020
VACATE: Garissa Urban Planning executive Abdi Omar [in front] when he made an impromtu tour of the Garissa ASK Showground on Saturday, March 21, 2020
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

Owners of structures at the Garissa ASK Showground have been given seven days to pool down their makeshift houses and vacate to pave way for the construction of a modern baraza park.

The county government on Saturday said it wants to build a recreational facility and a trade show hosting zone in the area.

Urban planning executive Abdi Omar on Saturday morning toured the ground and said the illegal tenants had been a week to vacate or their structures be demolished.

He said the county wanted to put the land into meaningful use that will enliven the site and utilise it in the interest of the general welfare of the public.

He said the tenants had no occupancy agreement with the county government that owns the land. He said the tenants had ignored a six-month notice of vacation that was issued a year ago.

"The planned demolitions is to pave way for the re-development of the site and that the occupants are duly notified about the development," Abdi said.

He added, “What we are simply doing is repossessing what rightly belongs to the county and we want to put it into good use. It is for this reason that we are asking for maximum cooperation as we embark on this noble exercise. We don’t want problems with anybody.”

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization office that has been earmarked for demolition in Garissa
OFFSIDE: The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization office that has been earmarked for demolition in Garissa
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa Municipal Manager Abdirahman Shalle said similar notices were served to developers of structures that had no formal clearance from the county government.

He said streamlining land use within the municipality was envisaged by the Physical and Land Use Planning Act No.13 of 2019.

"The ASK Showground is located in a prime area within the municipality and we intend to make better use of it and establish viable recreational and sporting activities within the facility," Shalle said.

Governor Ali Korane had early this month issued a warning private developers whom he said had made a habit of encroaching on government land and subsequently putting up structures. He said his administration will not hesitate to bring down such buildings.

“I have said time and again that people should respect public land. Why would you encroach or put up a structure or building on a land that you very well know is not yours and when we act you start lamenting,” Korane said.

 

edited by peter obuya