Kileleshwa residents protest over illegal construction


The construction site of a high-rise building along Kandara Road in Kileleshwa, Nairobi. 

Photo credit: Ndubi Moturi Media Group 

What you need to know:

  • The site is located where Viva Kileleshwa Lounge stood before it was demolished.
  • Residents claim developer ignored an enforcement notice and went ahead with construction.

Residents of Kileleshwa have protested against an ongoing construction of high-rise apartments along Kandara Road citing the absence of relevant approvals from the Nairobi City County government and other authorities.

Through Kileleshwa Ward Neighborhood Association, the residents said there is an earlier a notice from the county government over the change of user from a single-dwelling place to a commercial usage. 

The piece of land is identified as parcel No. Nairobi/Block 21/161.

“At the heart of our concerns lies the potential transformation of our residential haven into an overcrowded, chaotic zone. This impending shift jeopardises the tranquillity we hold dear, substituting it with the discord of ill-suited developments,” a petition by the residents reads in part. 

The residents have also faulted the county government for approving such developments without taking into consideration of the available infrastructural resources. 

“It's worth noting that while the proposed change suggests commercial usage, there's been additional promotion for ‘Lofty Creek Residency Kileleshwa’ high-rise apartments, an incongruous addition to our community. Such endeavours only serve to exacerbate over development, burdening our infrastructure and exacerbating environmental woes,” reads the petition. 

On Friday afternoon, Kileleshwa Ward MCA Robert Alai and enforcement officers stormed the site to stop the construction.

A few trucks that were ferrying the excavation soil and the excavator were forced to vacate from the site following the altercation.


An earth-moving machine at the construction site of a high-rise building along Kandara Road in Kileleshwa, Nairobi. 

Photo credit: Ndubi Moturi Media Group 

The piece of land measures approximately one acre and is located where Viva Kileleshwa Lounge stood before it was demolished to pave way for the construction. 

However, Mr Alai said the enforcement officers deployed at the site have been unable to stop the development since the developer is receiving ‘protection’.

“People are building apartments without any approval by using stolen resources from the county government. They have already started digging the ground and building tall apartments without even consulting the residents on the change of user,” Mr Alai said. 

“The site has been closed more than three times and the officers here are saying they are helpless. It is very unfortunate that the people who have been given the opportunity to serve Nairobians have now taken it upon themselves to plunder resources and enrich themselves,” he added.

The MCA also called upon the county government to cease approving constructions that violate the change of user.

“They are building without any approvals and change of user. It is an unfortunate situation that we are witnessing in Nairobi due to impunity,” he said.

In a letter dated March 7, 2024, the Nairobi City County government ordered the developer to stop the excavation activities on the site pending approval by the county government. 

Despite the enforcement notice, the developer went ahead with the construction.

Kileleshwa area is classified as a single dwelling place with the number of floors allowed in the area being a maximum of four. 

A new proposal currently before the Nairobi City County Assembly by Governor Johnson Sakaja’s administration proposes to increase the limit up to 15 floors in the area. 

This even as resident associations fault the county government of approving the construction of high-rise developments that clearly violate the zoning regulations.