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November 17, 2018

Random demolitions will not save rivers

Demolition of Shell petrol station in Kileleshwa Nairobi on Monday 6,2018.
/HEPHZIBAR BUKASU
Demolition of Shell petrol station in Kileleshwa Nairobi on Monday 6,2018. /HEPHZIBAR BUKASU

A lot of riparian and public land has been stolen. The Ndung’u Land Report in 2004 listed more than 200,000 title deeds illegally acquired between 1963 and 2002. But that does not mean that all those developments should be haphazardly knocked down.

Yesterday the International Commission of Jurists Kenya asked “innocent” private developers to take legal action against the government and those who sold them the land ( see P7).

The current demolition of buildings close to Nairobi rivers is chaotic, unplanned and selective.

Most big global cities have rivers running through them. But the water flow needs to be properly managed.

Nairobi planners need to determine which buildings are blocking rivers and those which are close but harmless. Then we can decide which ones to demolish.

Of course, many riparian buildings are built on stolen public land. But they can be punished in different ways if demolition is not deemed necessary. The land title could be confiscated or the owner could be forced to pay the market price.

Random demolitions do not help Nairobi or Kenya.

 

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