DOES YOUR HOUSE AN APPROVED BUILDING PLAN? IF NOT, KIAMBU GOVT ISCOMING FOR YOU!

About fifty families are now homeless after the Kiambu government demolished their houses at Ali Juja estate.
The homeowners said the county government officials and administration police officers came with bulldozers and pulled down the buildings.
Residents of Ali Juja Estate in Juja Sub-County were Saturday morning woken up by Kiambu County Government's earth-movers pulling down their houses as police officers watched.

The families which spent their night in the cold said their pleas to the county officials to spare their houses fell on deaf ears. They claimed no prior notice of intended demolitions was even given to them.

Several people were injured as police officers lobbed tear-gas canisters at the locals protesting the move and were rushed to hospital.

By the time Juja MP MP Francis Waititu came to the rescue of the residents, 10 houses had already been reduced to rubble.

The county officials overseeing the exercise said that they were only pulling down houses that lacked approved building plans from the Department of Physical Planning. Land and Housing Executive David Gatimu exonerated the county government, saying that the county had issued the locals with a vacate notice prior to the demolition which they ignored.

Some residents who had no approved plans raised an accusing finger at the county government for refusing to approve their building plans despite spirited efforts seeking them.

“I have gone to the county offices for more than three times seeking to have my building plan approved, but to no avail. They have flatly refused to approve them without giving us the reasons.
“We feel there is more than meets the eye concerning this land,” said Eunice Njeri, whose Sh600, 000 house was demolished.

Meanwhile The Government of Kenya will be launching a new building code in order to offer effective guidelines that foster professionalism, quality and standardization in the construction industry. The Ministry of Lands is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment to ensure that the construction fee levied on developers by NEMA and the National Construction Authority is reduced.

It is also formulating a Government office and Leased Residential Accommodation Policy to streamline and harmonize public space management while addressing challenges of scarcity, rent fluctuation, planning standard and prudent utilization of public space.

The high demand for housing has led to some property developers to oftenly bypass building regulations so as to cut costs and maximize profits. The ministry will manage and register all Estate Agents in order to bring sanity in the sector.

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