The Star (Nairobi)

20 June 2012

Kenya: Coast Group to Sue Council, Nema Over Water Catchment

A lobby group in Mombasa has threatened to sue the Municipal Council of Mombasa and Nema for allegedly approving constructions at water catchment areas. The Genesis for Human Rights Commission has said 500 houses are built on water catchment areas. Programme officer Caleb Ng'wena said the constructions interfere with the smooth flow of water. "We are going to sue the physical planning department of the council, Nema and the developers who have developed in the water catchment areas," said Ng'wena.

This comes barely two weeks after the Integrated Water Management Team visited several parts of Mshomoroni and Kiembeni areas in Kisauni. The team said the houses are a threat to water catchment as they are built mostly across the Haller Park stream. They observed that a wetland in Chemban has been invaded by developers, blocking the flow of water, despite the site being unfit for construction. The team is made up of experts from Water Resource Management Authority, Water Capacity Building Network and experts from Moi University and local groups.

Yesterday, Ng'wena said due to blockage of some streams owing to the constructions, flowing water is diverted into people's houses posing health hazards. "People are living under very risky conditions because of this situation. Some developers have even blocked culverts just so they can construct houses on one side of the road," said Ng'wena. The Integrated Water Management Team two weeks ago said they are considering evacuating of people and possible demolition of their houses in Kiembeni and Mshomoroni areas.

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