Plans by the National Environment Management Authority, NEMA to demolish structures marked as unsafe and encroaching on riparian land in Eldoret town faces political showdown due to opposition by some elected leaders.
The Kapseret MP, Oscah Sudi said elected leaders in Uasin Gishu County will not allow demolition of buildings by the multi-agency team tasked with the exercise.
“Before implementing the demolitions of the marked buildings the agencies must consult and involve local leaders,” said Sudi.
The MP advised the government agencies to trend carefully on the targeted buildings in Eldoret town and its environs amid reports that 27 structures built on riparian and wetlands in the county are earmarked for demolition.
The MP was speaking in Eldoret town on Wednesday during a funds drive to offset medical bills and funeral expenses for a prominent local hotelier, Benjamin Kiplimo who perished in a road accident along Eldoret-Nakuru highway a week ago.
The function that was held outside the deceased business premise in the town’s central business district was attended by area Governor Jackson Mandago and his Nandi counterpart Stephen Sang. Sh 6.6m was raised.
Sudi assured owners of the targeted buildings of political protection to ensure the structures are not demolished.
The MP told the multi-agency team to respect the sanctity of title deeds and stop flattening buildings constructed on parcels of land whose owners acquired procedurally
“As elected leaders from this county, we shall not allow any of the buildings listed as unsafe to be flattened without our goodwill and support, we don’t want our people to face what befell owners of such premises in Nairobi,” said Sudi.
He faulted the agency for ambushing owners of the structures reportedly constructed on wetlands with demolition instead of giving them enough notice.
However, NEMA has defended the planned demolition of the structures with the County Director, Boniface Birichi saying owners of the targeted buildings were given the option to bring down the premises or they be flattened by the government.
By Kiptanui Cherono