Avoiding Riparian Land Dilemma
Kenyan laws define riparian land to be a minimum of six meters and up to a maximum of 30 meters on either side of a river bank from the highest watermark. The distance is based on the river’s width and the volume of water at any given time. Nairobians receive rainfall with mixed emotions, happy because dust will be no more and worried not be awakened by floods.
Environmentalists have been pointing fingers on the encroachment on waterways and riparian reserves direction. In April this year, we experienced demolitions of buildings put on road reserves and riparian lands, some belonging to some well-established brands. The process was carried out by the government through the Nairobi Regeneration Initiative.
Nairobi and other towns are slowly becoming concrete jungles if we can go by the current construction rates. The house construction industry contributes to the tune of 14 percent to the country’s GDP, as nothing is particularly wrong with building a house. But it can be noted that it can be detrimental in the process that the construction is being on the wrong places, deaths can be caused as witnessed in the previous flash floods.
Developers who end up encroaching on the riparian land either chose to ignore or they had no clue that they were building on riparian land. If this happens, the rate of water flow slows down, the size of a flood is reduced together with the waters destructive powers associated with fast-flowing water. In the event when the water speed doubles, its eroding ability goes four times up with its ability to carry sediments increasing 64 times.
An investor, therefore,has to take deliberate steps to ensure that he has done enough research on the piece of land he intends to purchase whether to build or to invest on in future. Failure to do the homework right might make one burn fingers after buying a riparian land. Involvement of a competent Professional during the process will play a vital role in the determination of riparian reserves.
The surveyor will also be able to write to the relevant authorities for confirmation of the parcel of lands’ status. Some of the concerned authorities are the county government, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA). A developer can also consider contacting a search at the land’s registry. This will enable the developer to smoke out any fraudsters holding titles issued fraudulently.
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