Raila, Michuki unveil Sh15b plan to save Nairobi rivers

By Isaac Ongiri

More than 16,046 structures along Nairobi River face demolition to pave way for rehabilitation.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Environment Minister John Michuki said the Government was concerned over the continued grabbing of land along riverbanks.

Yesterday, Raila unveiled a Sh15 billion plan to rehabilitate the river, which cuts across the city.

He led a 17 inter-ministerial committee to launch the programme at the Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA).

Raila directed Michuki to use all means to evict land grabbers along the river.

"I direct the honourable Michuki to use all means to ensure the restoration of the Ngong, Nairobi and Mathare rivers," he said.

The PM announced that the Government had been assured of funds to reclaim the rivers.

He said Treasury would inject Sh4.5 billion into the project, and the remaining Sh10.5 billion would come from donors.

African Development Bank, Jica, Unep, UN Habitat, Italy, Denmark and Sweden are among the donors.

Raila said developers within the 30 metre legal reserves, would be evicted.

Planners, Raila said, should take the lead in advising Kenyans against investing on Government land.

"Those who approve building and construction plans must ensure the 30 metre rule along rivers is followed and allocation of the riparian reserve for human settlement should be discouraged," he said.

The PM said the 17 ministries involved in cleaning and rehabilitation of Nairobi River would sign contracts to ensure delivery.

He called on them to create a special budget to help in financing the rehabilitation of the river.

Michuki said the Government would appreciate willingness by the encroachers to quit voluntarily.

"We are determined to clean the river and people settled along the river basins must give way," he said.

Others present were Roads Minister Chris Obure, Assistant ministers Kabando wa Kabando, Mohamed Haji, and Elizabeth Ongoro.

Others were Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa, PSs Mohamed Isahakia, Titus Ndambuki, Tirop Kosgey, David Stower, Lawrence Lenayapa and KIA Director Margaret Kobia.

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