NO IMPACT STUDY

MPs want Sh65bn expressway halted pending Nema approval

Environment committee chairman says EIA used was an initial report and has nothing to do with the modified project

In Summary

• National Assembly’s Environment and National Resources Committee said the project lacks the mandatory Environment Impact Assessment report. 

• It has also not been cleared by the National Environment Management Authority.

Environment Committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki.
STOP: Environment Committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki.

MPs want the construction of the Sh65 billion Nairobi expressway halted until it complies with all legal requirements.

National Assembly’s Environment and National Resources Committee said the project lacks the mandatory Environment Impact Assessment report. 

It has also not been cleared by the National Environment Management Authority.

The House team warned that rolling out the project in the absence of the crucial documents pose serious negative effects to the environment.

The Committee chairman Kareke Mbiuki (Maara) told journalists at Parliament Buildings that the EIA used was an initial report and has nothing to do with the modified project currently being rolled out.

Mbiuki demanded the suspension of the project until Nema clears it.

He said Nema has not licensed the project launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month.

“We have no problem with the project but all legal requirements must first be met before it is operationalised,” Mbiuki said.

The committee has summoned Transport CS James Macharia and Kenya National Highway Authority (Kenha) to give details of the social impact assessment of the expressway.

The committee also wants public participation forums conducted before the roll-out to incorporate views of all stakeholders.  

“We have heard that there will be encroachment into Uhuru Park. The proponents must engage all the affected persons. We are calling on Kenha not to commence this project until the EIA report is done,” Mbiuki said.

“A project like this must have public participation because it is going to affect the environment,” Hillary Kosgei (Kipkelion West) and member of the committee said.

The project, to be implemented by Kenha, will be a 473-kilometre high-speed expressway connecting Nairobi and Mombasa.

The expressway will have 10 interchanges, including the SGR terminus at JKIA, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass and Enterprise Road.

(edited by O. Owino)