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Residents association protest construction of petrol stations, churches

 Ndirangu Maina, Chairman Lavington Five Roads Residents Association consulting with other members of other neighbourhood associations. [PHOTO: DENIS KIBUCHI]

Residents of Lavington and Kilimani areas have called upon the county government to control the construction of petrol stations and churches in the area. The residents say the developments contravene some regulations, including those touching on noise pollution. Chairman of Lavington Five Roads Association Ndirangu Maina argues that the problem has been brought about by regular approval of change of land use without regard to residents.

"We are getting these approvals done without residents being involved and where we are involved out views are ignored; the authorities go ahead and give the approval," Maina said. "This matter that affects Lavington, the same is also happening in Kilimani, Manyani, Woodley, Kiuna and larger Nairobi."

Further, the chairman says residents did not give approval of construction of petrol stations in the area, neither were they invited for public participation.

Public participation

"Public participation is totally ignored, sometimes we hear about them but we are not invited, in case we are invited, our views are overlooked," Ndirangu said.

In some cases, the chairman said, the residents write to the Nairobi County government since the areas fall under low density residential areas but nothing much has been achieved. Kimani Mathu the chairman of Kiuna residents Association equally blames county officials for not involving residents before such projects are approved.

"We are not against change or against development but disorderly expansion could lead to anarchy," Mathu said.The residents also challenged National Environmental Authority (Nema) and the County Government to encourage public participation and proper assessments before any kind of developments are approved. They said some businesses are nor suitable in low density residential areas among them mushrooming churches which they described to be noisy mostly on Fridays.

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