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January 20, 2019

Grabbers must fund Kibarani park, says lobby

Mombasa Land executive Edward Nyale (L) with National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri at Kibarani dump site, August 2018. /FILE
Mombasa Land executive Edward Nyale (L) with National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri at Kibarani dump site, August 2018. /FILE

Private developers who were illegally allocated land at the Kibarani dumpsite should be compelled to fund a recreational park, a lobby

group has said.

Big Ship, an environmental lobby based in Mombasa, said that although some developers have surrendered land, their activities had already done significant damage.

The Mombasa county government has ordered the Kibarani dumpsite shut down and the area turned into a recreational park.

"Compel the developers, through a Public Private Partnership, to fund the development of the park and restoration at Makupa Creek," Big Ship chairman Bosco Juma said.

The lobby said some of the private developers said to have grabbed the land have not been identified.

The National Land Commission named 12 companies and an individual who had been irregularly allocated land. Some have already surrendered some of the land.

In a detailed presentation to the NLC at the Kenya School of Government last Friday, Big Ship said the encroachment of the Makupa Creek led to the loss of 18.3 acres of mangrove forest and destruction of the marine ecosystem.

"Destruction of the mangrove forests reduces the carbon sinks that unabated in Mombasa, comparable help in climate change mitigation," Juma said.

On Tuesday, he said the county government must also stop dumping waste from the Kibarani dumpsite into the sea.

He accused National Environment Management Authority of allowing the illegal dumping to continue. He said it is pointless to use one illegality to stop another.

"The main concern and threat to the ecosystem currently is the dumpsite. The dumping of raw garbage into the creeks is one of the environmental injustices underway unabated, comparable to a major oil spill," Juma said.

However, Nema opposes dumping waste into the ocean and has even sued the county over the matter.

"Levelling of the dumpsite is ongoing but what we are concerned about is the pushing of waste into the sea. We gave them several orders to stop but they did not. So, we went to court," Nema county director Stephen Wambua said on the phone.

The county government, however, said it stopped dumping waste into the sea long before Nema went to court.

Juma said the private developers at Kibarani have constructed two culverts blocking the flow of the sea water and damaging breeding grounds of fish.

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