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Likoni channel intruders now given 21 days to vacate

By Philip Mwakio and Patrick Beja | May 19th 2015 at 08:00:00 GMT +0300

Some of the navigational structures on buildings along the Likoni channel in Mombasa County. [PHOTO: MAARUFU MOHAMED/STANDARD]

MOMBASA: Residents with homes on land designated for sea navigational aids and posts on the Kenyan coastline have been given 21 days to vacate.

The National Land Commission (NLC) warned it would forcefully evict them and tear down any building encroaching or interfering with the aids after the ultimatum.

Speaking after a site visit he conducted with officials of the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in Mombasa yesterday, NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the commission will invoke section 155 of the Lands Act which provides for forceful eviction in case of failure to comply with a vacate notice.

"We are issuing notice to people who have encroached on such land as it has been certified that they pose a danger to safer navigation in our coastal waters,’’ Dr Swazuri said.

Efforts by both KPA and KMA that started with a series of protest letters to both the Ministry of Transport and NLC seems to have borne fruits with the decision by Swazuri to compel those who had encroached to move out.

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KPA's Principal Marine Officer in charge of Aids to Navigation Patrick Onyango said other areas of concern and where land had been encroached include Kilifi and Lamu’s Ras Kitau where a developer had put up a structure.

Meanwhile, Coast Water Services Board (CWSB) has announced it will directly push water service companies in the coastal counties to recover Sh1.2 billion bills its alleges has accumulated since the regime of defunct local authorities.

On Sunday, governors in the region threatened not to pay the debts and accused the CSWB of trying to impose unverified and disputed debts.

CWSB Chief Executive James Thubu yesterday said the board has decided to give the water companies in the counties a month’s grace period to settle the debts once or face a water supply cut.

Reacting to the governors' statement, Mr Thubu said the board was dealing directly with the water companies because they are independent entities with boards of directors and hence cannot hide under county governments.

“It is the water companies which owe the board,” Thubu said.

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