Bulldozers destroy buildings in Kisii

KISII, KENYA: A Government Multi-agency task force has started demolishing over 200 buildings constructed along with riparian land in Kisii town.

The demolitions will have more than five major hotels built along the area; River Nyakomisaro brought down in the next five days.

Several tenants were caught off guard early Wednesday morning as the demolitions began as early as 4 am.

Most of those affected walked away wailing leaving behind their household goods as it emerged that most landlords had not notified their tenants of the notices that had been issued early on.

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Majority of those affected are students of Kisii University who are on holiday. Most of their belongings that were locked in their rented houses were destroyed in the exercise.

"We were not aware of any notice to vacate these houses. My colleagues have lost everything they had. They will be forced to start from scratch," said Peter Onsare, a third-year student at Kisii University.

A senior Government who is also part of the team carrying out the demolitions had a section of his recently constructed house also brought down.

Officials are leading the exercise from the National Environmental Management Authority, Water Resource Management, National Building and Construction Inspectorate, Kisii County Government, National Disaster Management Unit, Public Works and National Youth Service and National Security.

According to a senior County Environment Officer, some of the buildings have been built without any single approval.

The first day of the demolitions remained peaceful with more than 50 police on standby. 

"The notices were issued over four months ago, pegging was done, demarcations and marking," said one of the County Environment Officer.

The exercise is being coordinated by Kisii County Commissioner Godfrey Kigochi together with the County Police Coordinator Martin Kibet.

River Nyakomisaro which the Government targets to reclaim has been greatly affected with some of the illegally built structures discharging raw sewage to the river.

Most of the streams and springs along the river have also been affected, the majority having dried up.

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Kisii UniversityDemolition