Kilimani and Kileleshwa residents, flanked by area members of the Nairobi County Assembly, held protests demanding ongoing construction of storey buildings in their neighbourhoods halted.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai highlighted that more than 30 buildings, being developed by Chinese contractors, were being constructed without adequate public participation from local residents.
He also decried the fact that most of the buildings are beyond 10 floors.
“We want to stop the development until public infrastructure is improved, the developers listen to the residents and take the considerations of the public into account. There is no public participation because approvals of the environmental impact assessment are being issued without any regard for public participation,” he stated.
Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai during the protests and trucks at a construction site in Nairobi.
“There is no consideration for public infrastructure. No one is building a community center, schools, and police station or improving the sewer line.”
The lawmaker further pointed out that a majority of the projects’ managers had defied a court order halting construction.
“When the assembly resumes after next week, we will bring a motion in place to stop all these things until a proper framework is put into place to guide the developments,” he added.
Kilimani MCA and Nairobi County Assembly Majority Whip Moses Ogeto, who participated in the protests, also noted that social infrastructure such as Kilimani Primary School had been abandoned despite the expansion of highrise buildings.
He argued that the Chinese contractors built the apartments and sold them to Kenyans before embarking on starting new projects. The new occupants, according to his account, are then left to grapple with deteriorating social amenities.
“We are not discouraging development but what we are saying is that the residents’ views should be part of the development,” he stated.
“So many buildings are coming up and they are not expanding the roads or the sewer lines. There will be a disaster in the next 10 years. Imagine building a flat for 500 people in a place initially occupied by 10 people.”
In recent years, wealthy individuals who enjoyed a tranquil environment in Kilimani have been ditching their homes decrying an increase in highrise apartments which, in turn, lead to a spike in insecurity and lack of privacy.
Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai in a photo taken on June 10, 2022