High-rise buildings next to Laikipia Air Base face demolition

Joshua Irungu

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu addresses journalists during a multi-agency consultative meeting involving the Laikipia county government, EACC, and the national government in Nanyuki on December 1, 2022. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

High-rise buildings next to Laikipia Air Base face demolition for contravening regulations governing construction of houses next to military installations.

Governor Joshua Irungu said developers who bought land in 2009 in what is now called ‘Teachers Estate’ had been warned that buildings exceeding three stories posed a risk to flying military aircrafts.

“We shall move ahead and remove [demolish] high-rise buildings build next to the air base so that it be a warning to those developers that there are rules governing the number of floors one can put up. The high buildings pose danger to military aircrafts,” Mr Irungu told a media briefing during a multi-agency consultative meeting on Wednesday in his Nanyuki Town office.

The governor was responding to concerns raised by senior military officers at the meeting who said that high-rise buildings continues to mushroom while there is a limit on the height of a house near a military airbase.

“No building should be more than 45 feet or three floors as they jeopardize smooth flight of aircrafts. But as we speak here today, we have six houses with six floors and others still under construction,” Lt Col Juvenalis Atanja, told the meeting.

The 10-acre piece of land located two kilometres from Nanyuki Town was acquired by Laikipia Teachers Sacco (now Unison Sacco) in 2005 from an individual and later subdivided to small portions and sold to teachers. Construction work started in 2009 after title deeds were issued with a warning that it would be a controlled development.

For few years, the developers adhered to the restriction on the number of floors to construct but in recent years, this regulation has been disregarded with building inspectors being blamed for the malpractice.

Abraham Kemboi

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Central regional manager Abraham Kemboi addresses journalists during a multiagency consultative meeting at Laikipia County government offices in Nanyuki on December 1, 2022. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi I Nation Media Group

However, the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO) bid to pass high voltage power lines near the airbase was unsuccessful with the power transmitting company being advised by the Kenya Defence Forces to use underground tunnels instead.

The Thursday consultative meeting had been called by Governor Irungu to address various challenges related to land, infrastructure, environment and natural resources in the county.

In attendance were officials from the county land department, surveyors, physical planners, County Land Registrar, senior security officers, representatives from government agencies, Law Society of Kenya and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Mr Irungu announced that his administration would work closely with the various government agencies to resolve land related disputes as well develop a policy to guide approval of houses and buildings.

He said his government would work closely with EACC to repossess all grabbed government land adding that the parcels have been identified.


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