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February 17, 2019

Nyong’o declares war on illegal houses, grabbers of riparian land

An aerial view of Kisumu town/MAURICE ALAL
An aerial view of Kisumu town/MAURICE ALAL

Kisumu county will soon tear down buildings on riparian land, joining the countrywide crackdown on illegal construction blocking river flow.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o yesterday said his administration will soon start demolishing structures near rivers and on wetlands. Building on riparian land is illegal countrywide and causes flooding.

The county boss said poor planning will not be allowed to ruin development and environmental conservation.

“We must enforce proper planning. You’ll soon see buildings come down. The county must get rid of structures on riparian areas and those without proper documentation,” Nyong’o said.

He said the county will also tackle the problem of multiple land titles. The county chief spoke after launching construction of the second phase of Victoria Gardens houses. He warned cartels that grab public property that their time is up.

Nyong’o said his administration will restore investor confidence and will ensure a ‘clean’ lands registry.

He said the land system he found in place was “in a mess” and must be changed to reflect residents’ needs for economic growth.

Kisumu MCAs recently passed a motion requiring enforcement of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999, reclaim all riparian parcels. Kaloleni-Shaurimoyo MCA Priscah Misachi said the public should help manage wetlands and water sources.

Recently, the county revoked titles irregularly allotted to individuals and private developers by the old municipal council. Revocation was recommended by a task force formed by Nyong’o in October last year.

rates management

Ownership of 5,048 acres will be verified across the county. Task force member Kennedy Hongo said the process will be fair and transparent.

“The procedure for acquiring public land is very clear. We’re aware there are those who short-circuited the process. That’s why we want to regularise it,” he said.

Lands executive Dixon Obungu said targeted plots are in Block 9 and Mamboleo. He told landowners in Kanyakwar A, Kanyakwar B, Mamboleo, Kibos, Nyalenda and South Kajulu to submit title deeds and original land rates payment receipts within 21 days for verification.

Those who fail to do so will face consequences, he said. Efficient land rates management and verification of ownership records are needed to promote the rule of law, he said.

Obungu warned tenants of county government houses against building extensions and other structures in their compounds. These structures must be demolished within 21 days, he said.

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