NEMA shaves riparian land from Boulevard Hotel

Thursday, May 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Michuki Park. Photo/Courtesy

George Kebaso @Morarak

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has reclaimed a portion of riparian land from Boulevard Hotel as part of the ongoing cleaning of Nairobi River especially at the section near Michuki Park which is being prepared for hand over to Kenya Forest Service.

On Thursday morning Environment Chief Administrative Secretary, Joel Kitili told People Daily said any developments, both public and private that have encroached into riparian areas of the river must move to at least 6 metres as provided by the law.

While leading a team from the Ministry headquarters and environment inspectors from NEMA, Kitili also supervised the identification and closure of effluent discharge points along Nairobi River, upstream of Michuki Park.

“We are here following an order which has expired to see if the hotel has complied with the orders and if they have not, we were impressing on them to comply. For now, we will have to enforce the order.

“We want to ensure that what we directed them to do is done today (yesterday).

The law provides that from the river we have a minimum of the riparian area that should be 6 metres and a maximum of 30 metres.

Unfortunately, they are not within that limit, and our instructions were they have to be within that limit given by the law,” he said.

He said, subsequently, they will be forced to clear the fence as part of the compliance to the Water Management Act which gives the limits from the bank of the river.

“We have already told them to push up to the minimum since the pegging had been done by the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) and they have to follow the law. This means moving the fence to the marked area,” he added.

The park, situated between Globe Cinema roundabout the far end of Uhuru Highway is scheduled to be handed over to KFS management by President Uhuru Kenyatta this month.

It was established in 2012 in honour of the late Environment minister, John Michuki.

In 2009, he was internationally recognised for redeeming Nairobi River.

The United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) presented him with a certificate recognising his efforts to clean the river, which had been choking on human and industrial waste.

The park was however, neglected soon after he was moved from the environment docket.

An official of KFS said that the takeover has been finalised.

“It will be managed by KFS just like the Nairobi Arboretum and Karura Forest. We are involved in cleaning it,” he said.

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