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Govt to revive community-led efforts to restore Nairobi rivers

The Kenya Alliance of Residents Associations (KARA), in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), have held a bimonthly series of forums amid efforts to educate the public on the role of communities and community organisations towards the protection and restoration of Nairobi Rivers.

The discussions held within the forum promised to uncover grassroots initiatives that aim to transform the fate of Nairobi’s waterways in efforts to improve the city’s environment.

Speaking during the event, Nairobi Rivers Commission (NRC) Chairperson Dr. Pamela Olet lauded President Ruto for establishing the Nairobi Rivers Commission to oversee and supervise the city’s blue and green infrastructure for a better urban environment and quality of life.

“This is so important because we have been in this river before; many years, so much money, and so much energy have gone into the river in terms of restoration initiatives, but why is the river in the state that it is now?” Questioned Dr. Pamela.

The chairperson acknowledged that there is something wrong with the approach they have been using to re-generate the impact required to manage the rivers.

She added that they will be engaged in a discussion with all relevant stakeholders to lead a successful pathway in developing relevant solutions.

On the other hand, Dr. Pamela revealed that the Commission is domiciled in the Office of the Deputy President, which according to, her was a very significant decision to ensuring re-generation of the river basins.

Dr. Pamela disclosed that the Commission is guided by a structure called the Advisory Group, which comprises the commissioners, representatives from the United Nations HABITAT Systems, the World Resources Institute, the private sector, civil society, and counties.

Moreover, she noted that the Commission is still a young agency and therefore called on all the stakeholders to foster coordination and strengthen their roles, citing that this was what was needed to fulfil the restoration and protection of rivers.

The chairperson further explained that the Nairobi Rivers Commission is not limited to the Nairobi area, as she highlighted five counties that are within their circle, including Kajiado, Nairobi, Makueni, and Machakos.

Most importantly, Dr. Pamela urged the community organisations to pay key attention to the river basins to ensure cleanliness as well as identify investment opportunities that can be brought by rivers.

By Nkooma Samson and Carol Mawia

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