Four counties join the Nairobi Rivers Commission

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua when he chaired the Nairobi Rivers Commission at Harambee House Annex

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua when he chaired the Nairobi Rivers Commission at Harambee House Annex on May 25, 2023. The meeting brought in the counties of Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Makueni. The counties will work with the Nairobi Rivers Commission in rehabilitating the rivers in the city, the surroundings and the environment downstream as per its mandate.

Photo credit: Courtesy | DPCS

A total of four counties have been co-opted into the Nairobi Rivers Commission in the government’s effort to reclaim a number of targeted small rivers that are connected to the Nairobi River.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said that the counties that include Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Makueni will participate in the restoration activities of the commission.

“We have co-opted the counties because the rivers under the commission have a direct impact on the people in the counties. We will bring all of them on board,” Mr Gachagua said.

He was speaking after holding a consultative meeting at Harambee House Annex that brought together governors and representatives from the four counties.

During the meeting, the leaders fast-tracked the status of the rehabilitation project and discussed the framework that will be used to restore the rivers in Nairobi.

It has also emerged that the Kenya Defence Forces has already been seconded to the commission to carry out the rehabilitation project. The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission will be Brigadier Joseph Muracia of KDF.

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti who attended the meeting welcomed the decision saying they were ready to work with the commission.

"This is a noble cause. We support the cleaning of the rivers 101 percent. We have to get it right this time around. Whatever is required of us we will do," Ms Wandeti said after the meeting.

Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku said the counties are ready to allocate resources to ensure the success of the project.

The Nairobi Rivers Commission was created in February 2022 by President William Ruto to oversee the protection of rivers in Nairobi and the riparian ecosystems. It is domiciled in the Office of the Deputy President.

According to President Ruto, the commission is expected to sort out the filth in the river and come up with frameworks on how enterprises can stop emitting raw sewage and other effluents into the city rivers.

It has a three-year mandate and is chaired by Pamela Olet.

In carrying out its mandate, the commission is expected to coordinate with the national government, the county governments as well as different private stakeholders.

Currently, the commission has created a total of six sub-committees in order to realise its objectives.

They include the committee on Catchment Protection, Riparian and Wetland Protection and Reclamation along Nairobi River Basin, Waste to the Rivers and Clearance of Clog Waste and Dumpsites.

Others are sub-committees on Industrial and Institutional Waste and Drainage and Hydrology.