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Kenyans Blast Politician Who Wants Rivers Moved to Accommodate Buildings

 

Kenya’s social media platforms are awash with reactions over comments made by a popular politician condemning the recent demolition of buildings on riparian land, instead urging authorities to allow landlords to divert rivers.

Kiambu county governor Ferdinand Waititu was addressing a church gathering, where he criticized recent demolitions in the capital, Nairobi, carried out by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

“I have been raised in Nairobi, and I have been a deputy governor there. I see some things happening there, such as the demolitions that people support, but I don’t support that… If you have a house built close to a river, it should be your duty to ensure the river is diverted a little. But demolishing houses is not a solution. Honestly speaking. It is such a big loss,” Waititu said.

Multibillion-shilling structures have been reduced to rubbles over the past three weeks by NEMA, which is adamant action has to be taken to conserve the environment.

Kenyan laws define riparian land as being a minimum of 6 metres and up to a maximum of 30 metres on either side of a river bank from the highest water mark.

The country’s Constitution says riparian land is public land hence should not be allocated to anyone.

The demolitions have received support from President Uhuru Kenyatta, who even called for the prosecution of government officials who approved the construction of the buildings on riparian lands.

Waititu’s remarks on Sunday have gone viral on social media, sparking most users to condemn his stance.

Here is a sample of the reactions from Twitter;

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Other social media users however supported Waititu’s idea, saying it was actually workable.

 

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Written by How Africa

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