Langata MP petitions parliament over demolition of Seefar Apartments

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Langata Constituency MP Nixon Korir addresses guests during the 23rd Annual prize Giving Day held at the Nairobi Muslim Academy on February 24, 2018. Photo: Courtesy

Langata MP, Hon. Generali Nixon Korir has petitioned Parliament to save Seefar apartments from demolitions. The apartments are in Nyayo Highrise ward in Langata Constituency.

The legislator wants parliament to investigate the conduct of NEMA and WARMA on the same issue accusing them of approving the construction in 2011.

The MP is concern of the innocent third parties who had purchased the said apartments through their hard earned Savings and others through mortgages.

The speeker ruled that NEMA and WARMA to appear before the environment and natural resources committee next week on Thursday and the committee to prepare a report within 60 days

FULL PETITION BELOW:

TO THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, P.0 BOX 41842-00100,

NAIROBI.

PETITION BY THE HOMEOWNERS OF SEEFAR APARTMENTS, NYAYO HIGHRISE IN

RESPECT TO THE DEMOLITION NOTICE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NEMA) IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (NEMA/5/4/VOL.II) AND ORDER FROM WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (WARMA) ORDER (SERIAL NUMBER 30365)

I, HON. KORIR NIXON KIPROTICH, Member of Parliament for Langata Constituency make this Petition pursuant to Standing Order 220(1)(b) on behalf of the Homeowners of Seefar Apartment who are citizens of Kenya and Residents in the said Apartments, being a residential building erected on property Land Reference Number No. 209/12108 consisting of a development that comprises of Two Hundred and Eighty Eight (288) Residential Apartments and constructed by Erdemann Property Limited in 2011, located within Nyayo High-Rise Estate along Mbagathi Road;

DRAW the attention of the House to the following:-

i. THAT WHEREAS, Seefar apartments has a total population estimated at over One Thousand (1000) people with 60% of the persons residing and working at Seefar Apartments comprising women and young children;

ii. THAT WHEREAS, over 40% of homeowners of Seefar Apartments which is ear-marked for demolition have acquired mortgages with various financial institutions through which they continue servicing their loans so as to eventually acquire their apartments, with a majority of young families living there knowing Seefar as their only home and will be rendered homeless if demolition of the apartments is allowed;

iii. THAT WHEREAS, the notices and order is vague, ambiguous and an afterthought since the said Notice and Order are in respect of matters that have already been determined by the same Authorities that are purporting their breach;

iv. THAT WHEREAS, the impending demolition of the apartments is set against the Government’s ‘Big 4 agenda’ which has been spearheaded by the President of the Republic of Kenya to provide Kenyans with decent affordable housing;

v. THAT WHEREAS, the Nairobi Dam together with the Ngong River which are the cause of the demolition notice are man-made and the management of the said Dam and River squarely falls on the Authorities referenced above, with the maintenance of the Dam having deteriorated to the point that the Dam no longer serves its primary purpose of being a water reservoir for the City and a recreational Dam. Instead, the Dam’s water is now polluted, contaminated and is unsafe for human consumption;

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vi. THAT WHEREAS, it is noted that of all the buildings constructed near the Dam it is only Seefar Apartments which has been purported to be within Riparian reserve whereas the other buildings whose proximity to the Dam is far closer have had no Notice or Order issued, nor have ourselves as owners of apartments at Seefar been served with demolition Notice’s or Order’s and that only Erdemann Property Limited have been served;



PETITION BY THE HOMEOWNERS OF SEEFAR APARTMENTS, NYAYO HIGHRISE

IN RESPECT TO THE DEMOLITION NOTICE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NEMA) IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (NEMA/5/4/VOL.II) AND ORDER FROM WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (WARMA) ORDER (SERIAL NUMBER 3036)

vii. THAT WHEREAS, on the 12th of October 2018, Inspectors from NEMA, one Ms. Catherine Thathi and a Mr. Eric Ngondi visited Seefar Apartments and issued the said Improvement Notice requiring Edermann Property Limited to demolish the permanent structures within 14days of the date of the Order failing which demolition will be carried out by the said Authority ((NEMA) Improvement Notice NEMA/5/4/VOL.II);

viii. THAT WHEREAS, whereas, the said Notice did not specify which provision under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act 1999 was breached, it was only upon visiting the NEMA office headquarters on the 15th October 2018 to see the Deputy Director of Enforcement as per the requirements of the notice that we learnt the specific breach was in respect of the Environmental Impact Assessment Licence Registration Number 0008382 dated 29th June 2011, whose Condition 2.1 which reads thus “The proponent shall ensure protection of Na Environmental Impact Assessment Nairobi Dam and Ngong River by maintaining a 30-metre Riparian reserve from the water bodies.”;

ix. THAT WHEREAS, to this end we brought to the attention of the Director of Enforcement, Mr. David Ongare and the Deputy Director of Enforcement Ms. Salome Machua that their officers failed to verify the allegations since they only carried out a visual inspection, and therefore subsequently furnished the Authority with Downstream Embankment Profile Drawing Reference Number JKR/EL/ND-TD-01, which said drawing clearly shows the distance from the building line to the existing embankment crest level is 31.182 meters;

x. THAT WHEREAS, in addition to the 31.82 meters, there is a considerable distance from the existing embankment crest level to the high-water mark of the dam and therefore the property is well within the parameters of condition 2.1 of the NEMA Environmental Impact Assessment Licence;

xi. THAT WHEREAS, on the 12th of October 2018 an Officer from WRMA, a Michael Muturi visited Seefar Apartments and issued an Order requiring Edermann Property Limited to remove the building on the Nairobi Dam riparian reserve within 14 days and restore to the original state within 90 days ((WRMA) Order Serial Number 30365), leaving residents perplexed as to the basis of the Order when the same Authority had pronounced itself on the Riparian reserve;

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xii. THAT WHEREAS, whereas on the 25th of July 2011 WRMA vide a letter referenced WRMA/NRB/RIPARIAN/1/(55) following a Stop Order No. 315 of 20th July 2011 and a meeting held on the said 25th of July 2011 identified the riparian area of the Ngong River on the southern end of the plot to be measured at 15m from the highest water mark, which said letter also states that “WRMA Officers to measure mark and show Erdemann Property Limited the beacons” (see the said letter attached);

xiii. THAT WHEREAS, on the 10th of April, 2015 Edermann Property Limited wrote to the Sub Regional Manager of the WRMA vide a letter referenced EPL/0172/PRT and confirmed that a Mr. G.K Wachira and Mr. Thomas Mwaura on 22nd and 25th July 2011 carried out the pegging of the building line from the Nairobi Dam and Ngong River, which said letter goes on to state that Edermann Property Limited went on to not only observe the 3 meter distance from the boundary but extended the same to 6 meters well above the specified requirements (see attached the said letter);

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PETITION BY THE HOMEOWNERS OF SEEFAR APARTMENTS, NYAYO HIGHRISE

IN RESPECT TO THE DEMOLITION NOTICE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NEMA) IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (NEMA/5/4/VOL.II) AND ORDER FROM WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (WARMA) ORDER (SERIAL NUMBER 30365

xiv. THAT WHEREAS, in response to the above letter dated 10th of April, 2015 from Ederman Property Limited, WRMA wrote to Edermann on the 17th of April 2015 vide a letter referenced WRMA/NRB/RIPARIAN/1(56) and acknowledge that officers from WRMA visited the property on the 13th and 14th of April 2015 and established that the works were carried out as per the designs earlier submitted and to a satisfactory level;

xv. THAT WHEREAS, furthermore, the said letter goes on to clearly state that “the Authority (WRMA) pegged and marked out the riparian land bordering Seefar Apartments in July 2011 at 22 meters from the highest water mark from the dam and 15 meters from the highest water mark from the Ngong River respectively in accordance with the Water Act 2002 and the Water Resource Management Rules 2007. The marked riparian area was observed” (see the attached letter for your records);

xvi. THAT WHEREAS, it goes without saying that in as far as we are concerned all the conditions put in place by WRMA were met and the said conditions were unequivocally confirmed to have been complied with, therefore, any allegation or purported breach has no basis since the matter was clearly settled;

xvii. THAT WHEREAS, from the facts presented above it is clear that upon carrying out a visual inspection there are a number of properties that are located within close proximity to the Dam, which properties are not considered to be within riparian land, and accordingly either a new form of measurement that has no basis at law has been used in the case of Seefar Apartments or this is a clear case of discrimination;

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xviii. THAT efforts have been made to have the matters raised in this Petition addressed by a relevant body but the response has been unsatisfactory;

xix. THAT the matters raised in this Petition are not also pending in any court of law in Kenya;

xx. AND WHEREAS, in light of the foregoing, it is not fair to determine the fate of over 1000 people on the basis of visual inspections without any verifiable scientific measurement or give orders or demolition and removal of residential buildings within 14 days;

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PETITION BY THE HOMEOWNERS OF SEEFAR APARTMENTS, NYAYO HIGHRISE

IN RESPECT TO THE DEMOLITION NOTICE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (NEMA) IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (NEMA/5/4/VOL.II) AND ORDER FROM WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (WARMA) ORDER (SERIAL NUMBER 30365

Now THEREFORE, your humble petitioners PRAY:

A. THAT the National Assembly do urgently consider this petition in view of the urgency and gravity

of the issues raised;

B. THAT pursuant to Standing Order 216(5)(a), the relevant Committee of the House does investigate and inquire into all the matters raised in this Petition;

C. THAT pursuant to Standing Order 216(5)(a), the relevant Committee of the House investigate into the conduct of the Authorities named herein namely NEMA and WRMA or WRA and their authorized actions or inactions that have contributed towards the destruction of property, loss of income and financial and emotional loss of lawful investors in the real estate industry such the Petitioners ; and

D. THAT pursuant to Standing Order 216(5)(a), the relevant Committee of the House investigate into the manner in which Authorities named herein namely NEMA and WRMA or WRA issued orders/consents and licences issued before, during and after the construction of Seefar Apartments and make any appropriate recommendations to safeguard the rights of Parties lawfully issued by such licences.

E. THAT the National Assembly through the relevant Committee propose appropriate legislative reforms to the relevant laws to ensure purchasers of investments in good faith such as your humble Petitioners do not suffer untold losses and suffering from the authorized actions or inactions of Authorities named herein when these authorities act in contravention of the powers bestowed upon them by the law.

And your PETITIONERS will ever pray PRESENTED BY,

THE HON. KORIR NIXON KIPROTICH, M.P., MEMBER FOR LANGATA CONSTITUENCY

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