Conduct an assessment on riparian lands, County Assembly recommends
Laikipia County Assembly has asked the county government to conduct an assessment of all the riparian lands.
The Assembly noted that encroachment on riparian lands could lead to flash floods and clogging of drainage systems.
While moving a motion Wednesday on riparian lands,the Deputy Speaker, Daniel Nyausi (Mukogodo East ward) argued that riparian lands in the county had been grabbed by private developers without proper approval.
“A number of interventions had been initiated by various actors like National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
Several unfit establishment and buildings in the county have encroached on the reserved riparian lands,” noted Nyausi.
Nyausi said encroaching on riparian lands posed risks of disasters like collapse of buildings leading to loss of lives and property.
He urged the County government to conduct the assessment of these lands in order to recover and safeguard them.
In supporting the motion, Tigithi ward MCA, Mutahi Muritu noted that there was need for implementation of Riparian Lands Act for recovering and safeguarding these lands.
Muritu noted that some people were carrying out agricultural activities near the rivers, hence affecting water flow.
“Rivers flowing from Mt Kenya and Aberdare forests are greatly affected considering people living downstream sometimes fail to get the precious commodity,” observed Muritu.
According to Sarah Waruo, County Environment Officer( NEMA) Laikipia, the county is not experiencing any problem of encroachment into riparian lands.
“We are not experiencing problem of encroachment on riparian lands in Laikipia. However, more assessment will be done on riparian lands,” Waruo observed.
The officer noted that the only area where encroachment was frequently experienced in the county is small scale farming along river banks during the dry spell especially along Likii river; a problem NEMA office and Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) were looking into.
This comes at a time when NEMA is conducting demolition of buildings in the capital city of Nairobi in its campaign to reclaim grabbed wetlands.
By Kimani Tirus