Society / Environment
Friday, 10 Jun 2016 14:37 EATcirandu@kenyafreepress.com
Nairobi County is home to hardworking people, who are hellbent on making money. The line between the green city in the sun and a concrete jungle is slowly but surely thinning. This is because of the buildings that are sprouting up every second, in every corner of the city centre. Nature is getting confused, what was once green is turning brown, as investors bank their loot.
Landowners are not sparing anything natural. Their eyes are on riparian land-areas adjacent to rivers, streams or any wetland. Kenya has laws governing against establishing buildings on these grounds. Is anyone paying attention to these laws though? I think not. Wetlands filter pollutants; they regulate heavy water flow, thus preventing floods. Ironically, rivers provide construction material for building poles, which serve as pillars for buildings and clay, which can build houses. The constitution, under clause 1(e), section 60 stipulates that we should conserve and protect lands that are sensitive ecologically.
Recently, buildings tumbled down in Nairobi during the long rain season. Wananchi incurred huge losses, including losing loved ones, and property worth billions. There is this lone building on the Lang’ata-Mbagathi Way junction, which stands on riparian land. According to media reports, the building, which stands opposite the T-Mall, is owned by a high-ranking public official who was able to circumvent regulations prohibiting construction in wetlands. With the Mutuini-Ngong River flowing beneath it, the building is a real eyesore. It has been blamed for the recent frequent flooding in Nairobi West, South C and neighboring estates.
You cannot change the course of Mother Nature. Hell hath no fury than nature scorned. Posh suburbs and desolate slum settlements were victims of the indiscriminate floods. As investors counted their losses in the clean halls of banks, nature furiously spews out its lethal waters, straight from the riverbanks. A harsh warning to us to do the little we can to take care of our environs.
The writer is a journalism student at the University of Nairobi and intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.