Unease over looming demolition of structures on road reserves

Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) officials demolishing buildings erected along Njoro - Elburgon road on April 25,2018. [File, Standard]
Property developers in Nakuru continue to suffer losses while others are crossing their fingers after a State agency marked their property for demolition.

Along the Nakuru-Nyahururu road, which is set for expansion to a dual carriageway, several commercial buildings and motor vehicle yards have been demolished. Others have been earmarked for demolition. The demolitions peaked last month.

On October 23, bulldozers brought down several buildings, including the popular White House constructed in the 1990s.

The community has formed a committee, led by Benson Muriu, to engage KeNHA to establish where the actual road reserve ends following claims that some beacons were wrongly marked.

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“There are a number of buildings which, according to the map from the Lands departments, are not on the road reserve. They have however been marked for demolition yet those doing so didn’t take measurements to determine whether they are on the road,” said Mr Muriu.

He added that during a recent meeting with KeNHA officials at the South Rift offices, they were reassured that the demolitions had been suspended until the issues they raised are resolved.

KeNHA has also demolished several structures, including permanent buildings, on road reserve along Eldoret-Kitale highway, to secure land for planned expansion of the road.

The structures brought down include permanent buildings in Gatua, Village Inn, Maili Saba, Sirende and Kwa Muthoni.

In the North Rift, KeNHA has begun demarcating road reserves along Eldoret-Kapsabet and Eldoret-Kondoo roads.

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According to KeNHA North Rift official Philemon Kipkoech, they are placing beacons to mark road reserves.

In Kakamega, traders were left counting losses at Shibuli, Shianda, Makunga and Shisiru trading centres in April when structures were brought down.

Geoffrey Opondo, chairman of traders at Shianda market, regretted that KeNHA got them off guard during the operation.

[Kennedy Gachuhi, Sila Koskei, Osinde Obare, John Shilitsa and Ignatius Odanga]

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KeNHADemolitionsRoad Reserves