The Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) is set to push for ‘humane’ demolitions in line with the law following concerns of the manner in which ongoing demolitions of buildings on riparian and public land is being carried out.
Emma Miloyo, AAK president urged the government to mind innocent victims such as second and third generation buyers and tenants who stand to lose millions of shillings during the demolition exercise. She also said conflicting legislation on riparian land such as the Survey Act, Agriculture Act and Water Act 2016 fueled confusion on the matter.
“We support the efforts by the government to uphold the law as it is the only way we can operate as a civilized society and achieve the Kenya we want. However, the application of the law must be consistent and non-selective,” said Emma.
Agencies behind the demolitions
Emma Miloyo also raised concerned over the agencies behind the demolitions were the same involved in issuing developers with the necessary regulatory and statutory documentation to develop the land. The agencies include the National Environment Management Authority, Water Resources Authority and the Nairobi City County.
“Why did these agencies wait for these structures to be built only to then demolish them? A lot of uncertainty and fear has been set to get into the real estate industry as it is not clear anymore which permits are valid and there is no process to validate them either. The government should be held to account for these omissions,” said the president.
“As a body representing the interests of built environment professionals and the good of the public, we strongly advise that the definition of the term riparian land be clarified and harmonized cross-board. This breeds confusion interpretation. In some cases, some buildings were built before there was not a clear definition of restrictions on development on riparian land in law nor were these agencies in existence,” Emma added.