Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Friday supervised the recovery of a public land, which had been grabbed and a private car showroom built on it at Gigiri.
Sonko said the parcel of land was set aside for construction of a fire station, but a private developer moved in and put up a showroom.
The Governor ordered three county engines to be deployed at the showroom, adding that from today, it will act as a fire station.
“This is a public property that was meant for a fire station. From today, we have reclaimed it back and we shall have a modern fire station built here,” said Sonko.
Goreti Gichuru, the proprietor of the showroom, asked the Governor to give her sometime so that she could vacate.
“Governor, I’m ready to obey the law, but we are humbly requesting for more time so that we can vacate this land,” she said.
Governor Sonko allowed her sometime, but the County fire brigades will be stationed in the area officially.
Sonko said he will reclaim all grabbed public properties in Nairobi,
At the same time, Sonko issued a directive that all grabbed school land within the region be recovered at returned to schools’ management.
Sonko said land grabbing has also remained a major challenge for expansion of Education spaces in the County.
He named at least 13 parcels of land in Nairobi that belong to public schools, but have either been grabbed or registered under private entities.
“For example, Bohra Primary School’s title deed is registered under a private developer, Daniel Comboni Primary is having encroachment by neighbors all around and part of Garden Estate Primary School is registered under a private developer who has a title,” said the Nairobi Governor.
He added that part of Harambee Primary has also been grabbed.
At Kinyanjui Road Primary, PCEA has built a church on the school land and part of Lady Northey Day Nursery went to AIC Milimani, said Sonko.
Other schools that are facing problems of encroachment include; Langata Road Primary, Lavington Primary, Milimani Primary, Muranga Road, Nairobi Central Day Nursery, Nairobi South Primary and many others.
“I have directed my officers to immediately take measures to recover grabbed school land and fence them,” said Sonko.
Sonko warned that any of Nairobi City officials, who might have been involved in the irregular allocation of land, will face the full force of the law.
“It does not matter, even if you are my close friend, but you approved those illegal documents, you will go home. I’m actually waiting for a comprehensive report on the issue of land grabbing, before we take action,” said Sonko.
He said he was also aware that a number of schools in Nairobi still face immense challenges such clean water, lack of perimeter walls to enhance security, electricity supply and lack of general infrastructure.
“I undertake that my administration will ensure improvements in all the above areas,” pledged the Governor.
To start off, roads around several of schools will be upgraded this financial year and Nairobi has also set aside funds to improve street lighting around schools to ensure safety of students and teachers, said Sonko.
Sonko said his administration takes education very seriously and Nairobi is now the only county that offers 100 per cent free Early Childhood Development Education.
“We have set a capitation of Sh3,815 per child so that parents do not have to pay any money,” he said.
Sonko said when he took over the leadership of the Capital City, it had 13,485 children enrolled in public ECDEs across the County, out of an estimated 300,000 children of school-going age. This represents only 5 per cent.
Children paid as high as Sh10,000 per term in public schools therefore, most parents preferred non-formal schools, most of which lack basic facilities like sanitation.
“My government has since banned all levies in all public ECDE centres in line with the constitutional requirements of the right to free and compulsory basic education. The result is that enrolment has shot up to 17,000 as at the close of second term in 2018,” he said.
To address the increase in enrollment, Nairobi government is finalizing the recruitment of 520 ECD teachers.
Two additional ECD teachers will be posted in every public ECD centre.
“I have already instructed the County Public Service Board to absorb as a priority those ECD teachers that have been volunteering,” said Sonko.
Nairobi County Government is also offering full scholarships to 60,000 secondary school students.