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Expert says GreenPark houses not built on riparian land as alleged

By Faith Karanja | May 27th 2019
An expert has testified in court that ten houses in Green Park estate in Athi River are not built on riparian reserve.

A court has been informed that ten homes built by Superior Homes Kenya Company in Machakos County are not on riparian reserve.

Hydrological expert Samuel Kioni said they were not built on riparian reserve. The estate comprises over 400 houses.

Kioni testified in a case where Superior Homes is challenging a notice by the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) to demolish the unit.

He ruled out the possibility of Stoni Athi River naturally overflowing into the houses.

Appearing before Judge Oscar Angote, Kioni said last year's flooding at Green Park was likely due to backwater caused by obstruction of flow that occurred during the construction of a bridge across the Stony Athi River on Mombasa Road.

The witness told the court no part of Green Park Estate was within the Riparian Reserve as demonstrated in a study and recommendation so made.

He said after careful research he recommended that a dyke of about 100 meters be constructed at Green Park Estate to control possible flooding.

Kioni also recommended catchment management to attenuate the floods.

Last year Justice George Odunga issued orders stopping the demolition of the houses following an urgent application filed by Superior Homes.

The company, through lawyer Philip Nyachoti, said the enforcement order issued on May 31, 2018, could not be complied with since the timeline was inadequate to ascertain the concreteness of the boundary dispute.

The judge ordered the halting of intended demolition or removal of residents until the court made its decision on the dispute between the developer and WARMA.

Nyachoti told the judge the decision by the Authority was illegal and unlawful as it contravened the applicant's legitimate expectation and was motivated by extraneous purposes.

The lawyer submitted that WARMA's position that the houses in question were on riparian land bordering Stoni River Athi contradicted a finding by the same agency in a letter dated September 3, 2013.

The court heard that WARMA held two contradicting findings over the suit property, on which the applicant has built houses and sold to third parties.

Superior Homes wants the court to prohibit WARMA from implementing the decision to demolish the houses pending hearing and determination of the suit.

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