Nairobi River Commission to spearhead restoration efforts

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – Efforts to reclaim the Nairobi River and rid it of endemic pollution are underway as the government moots the formation of a Nairobi River Commission.

Speaking at his offices yesterday, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that once formed, the commission will spearhead all efforts to clean the river and return it to its natural state.

“The Nairobi River is a national shame. The level of pollution in the river is unacceptable and the quality of life of those who live next to it lacks dignity,” the DP said. “My office has been assigned the task of cleaning up the river and we will sort it out.”

The commission will comprise of both state and non-state actors including UN agencies.

“No single actor can deal with the issue alone. This river has been polluted for years and it will take a concerted effort to clean it up,” said the DP.

The Deputy President said that once formulated, the commission will be mandated to halt the pollution, clean the river, create livelihood projects around the river, and restore the surrounding levels to acceptable levels.

The commission will be another testament to Kenya Kwanza’s commitment to partnerships and engagement with all.

DP Gachagua was speaking at a working group meeting at his offices. Representatives from UN Agencies as well as government officials from the ministry of the environment were present.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, who was also at the meeting, said getting Nairobi River clean would involve the active participation of key decision makers at a policy level as well as Nairobi residents who have for years lived by the river or depended on it for their livelihood.

“Each of us needs to be part of this process, including those who had little choice in finding themselves depending on the river in one way or another,” the CS said.

Previous administrations have attempted to get the Nairobi River, which cuts across most parts of the city, clean, but have lacked the political will to see the cleanup through.

“The difference is that the Ruto administration has the political will, zeal, and passion to see this through and reclaim the river from its current state,” DP Gachagua said.

Also present at the meeting was Nairobi Deputy Governor James Njoroge Muchiri.

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