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February 21, 2019

Demolitions set to resume after break

The demolished Southend Mall/ VICTOR OMBOTO
The demolished Southend Mall/ VICTOR OMBOTO

The demolition of structures on riparian reserves in the city will resume after a week-long break.

The operation was temporarily stopped last week to allow the team carrying out the demolitions to flatten the structures that they had partially knocked down the week before.

Last week, the team brought down Ukay Centre in Westlands, and the flattening of the multi-million shilling building was completed on Friday. It was constructed too close to Kinangare, a tributary of Nairobi River. Today, the multiagency team of Nairobi river regeneration will bring down the twin Southend Mall buildings located at the Lang’ata Road – Mbagathi Way junction in Nairobi West.

The mall was brought down on August 8 for standing on top of Ngong River. It has been blamed for frequent flooding in Nairobi West, South C and Lang’ata areas. According to chief Julius Wanjau, who is leading the operation, they will take four days to flatten the high-end buildings.

“We spent more days at Ukay Centre because of the underground space that was serving as a go-down that we had to refill,” he said.

Wanjau said they will move to other structures after the Southend Mall but declined to reveal the names or the location of the targeted buildings.

“We work according to the instructions we are given. Tomorrow [today] morning we will be briefed on where we will be heading to after Southend Mall,” he said. Wanjau, however, said they would not reveal their plans to the public because of security concerns, adding that they have been attacked in the past by goons hired by landlords.

Last Thursday, Building Inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora issued a 14-day demolition notice to proprietor and tenants of the multi-billion shilling Air Gate Mall, formerly Taj Mall, in Embakasi. Nyakiongora said that part of the building stands on a road reserve. Already tenants have started vacating the building.

The multiagency team is clearing structures from riparian reserves to conserve Nairobi River and its tributaries.


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