4000 buildings face demolitions in Nairobi as Nakumatt Ukay goes down

Nakumatt Ukay demolished in the ongoing fight for riparian land. PHOTO COURTESY

Nairobi, Kenya: Nakumatt Ukay was the latest casualty of the ongoing demolitions in Nairobi to reclaim riparian land.

Efforts by the management of the Ukay centre to stop the demolitions were futile after the High Court on Thursday declined to issue orders stopping the government from demolishing the premises.

NEMA and their green SANY excavator, now referred to as the “green beast” by Kenyans who have been following the demolitions, reached the Ukay Centre at dawn and by 5 am, the building was already on its way down.

The Ukay centre which houses several businesses including Nakumatt, who have been on a downward spiral since last year, was among 4,000 buildings earmarked by the government for demolitions because they sit on riparian land.

The management of the establishment worth an estimated sh.900 million protested the demolitions saying they had not been given a notice but NEMA says every building owner was given 3 months notice that expired last Sunday.

The demolitions almost turned tragic when debris from one of the Ukay walls fell directly on the excavator, luckily no one was injured.

Damaged excavator, one of the Ukay walls fell on the bulldozer during the demolitions. PHOTO COURTESY

In May 2016, Nakumatt had to close business after the supermarket was flooded due to heavy rains.

Shell petrol station and Java outlet in Kileleshwa were the first casualties of the “green beast” followed by South End Mall in Lang’ata.

So who will NEMA and their excavator descend on next?