President William Ruto on Wednesday, February 22, heeded Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s request that people living alongside the Nairobi River needed better living conditions.
While speaking during the launch of the Nairobi River Commission in Korogocho, Nairobi, Sakaja told the Head of State that people living in informal sectors were not to blame for polluting the river.
He noted that they did not have an alternative as they lacked a proper sewerage system which was a responsibility of the national and county governments.
“We cannot clean the river now because there is no existing sewerage system in the area.
“You cannot ask the residents not to channel raw sewage to the river because we have not provided for them an alternative,” he told the President.
Sakaja further revealed that informal dwellers along the river should not be blamed for having pit latrines at the river banks.
The governor pleaded with the President not to evict the residents but instead invest in an elaborate sewerage system.
“We need in the short-term Ksh4 billion for Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company and if we need to solve the problem completely, we will have to invest Ksh19 billion,” he advised.
The President while answering Sakaja downplayed the need to invest such a hefty sum on the project.
He revealed how he would make sure the country employs austerity measures and at the same time takes care of informal dwellers along Nairobi River.
“We are not going to evict those who are staying at the river bank, instead we will build new houses for them,” he revealed.
The President added that the program of building new houses would run concurrently with the cleaning of the river.
“As we embark on the regeneration of our river, we will also include the regeneration of housing program,” he promised.