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Nairobi, Kenya aims at Regularizing Unauthorized Structures


Bio: Constant Cap has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He holds an undergraduate degree from the same university. He writes about urban planning issues online and in local dailies. Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya he passionate about the planning issues facing African Cities. He has a deep interest in sustainable transportation, urban resilience and new urbanism. He is also a Graduate Member of the Town and County Planners Association of Kenya. He has previously worked at the Strathmore University Advancement Office. He currently works as the Executive Director of Kilimani Project Foundation.

January 28, 2015,

A Collapsed floor of a building in Nairobi, Kenya

The collapse of a residential building on the 17th of December, 2014 in Makongeni and another one in Huruma on the night of the 4th of January 2015  has led to the Nairobi City County Government calling for an emergency recess to analyze and seek approval of the Nairobi City County Regularization of Developments Bill.

The Nairobi County Regularization Bill aims at bringing unauthorized developments under the umbrella of planning framework and providing basic facilities and infrastructure to the residents. This excludes unauthorized developments made on public land from regularization but includes regularizing unauthorized developments made up to the commencement (of the act), in conservation areas and those that have more than the required number of floors. It also intends to appoint an advisory committee for the purpose of law.

The Act proposes regularization of  unauthorized constructions put up on county or private land except those on existing or proposed roads, on land set aside for widening of railway lines, communications or other civic facilities or public utilities, forest cover, river banks, public amenities and land belonging to another person among others mentioned in Section 7 of the same.

Developments will have up to twelve months from the Act’s commencement  to apply for and obtain regularization, with the county government having the power to extend this period by not more six months. This will require owners of unauthorized structures to obtain a certificate of regularization from the county government.  During the regularization period, some amnesty will be given to projects that commenced before the commencement of the Act but conform to safety standards and directions.

There has been an increase in construction in Nairobi, Kenya

The Act proposes regularization fees and the demolition of all buildings not regularized upon the expiry of the regularization period.

Owners making changes to developments will assume all liability for any injury, damage or loss. Likewise it does not take the legal responsibility away from the professionals.

The Act also proposes the setting up of a regularization committee which includes a planner, surveyor, environmentalist, engineer, finance expert, architect, legal officer and the chief officers in charge of planning and lands from the county government. These shall be in charge of advisory, human resource and stakeholder mobilization tasks as well as overseeing  the regularization exercise.

The executive committee member will be in charge of ensuring full operationalization of the Act and establishing the necessary administrative arrangements for the same.

A Construction Site in Nairobi

According to Nairobi Planning Innovations, citizens can make comments to the office of the Nairobi County Assembly Clerk Via email and tweets to @NrdCityAssembly.

What do you think about the process of regularizing unauthorized structures? How can planning measures be enforced after the regularization process or are these part of the signs of a city that is growing as a rate that is too fast for the planning authorities?

Images by Constant Cap.Data Linked to Sources

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