Four counties neighbouring Nairobi have been co-opted into the Nairobi Rivers Commission as they are critical in the government’s ongoing reclamation of the targeted rivers.
Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Makueni will henceforth be part of the commission whose objective is to restore the rivers in the city and its surroundings.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday said the four counties will together with Nairobi fully participate in the Commission’s activities.
“We have co-opted the counties because the rivers under the commission have a direct impact on the people in the counties. We will bring all of them on board,” the DP said.
The Deputy President spoke when he chaired a consultative meeting at Harambee House Annex bringing together the Commission, which is domiciled in his office, and all the actors that will play a critical role as it discharges its mandate. Governors Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado) and Wavinya Ndeti (Machakos) attended the meeting while the others sent representatives.
Noting that inclusion of the counties was crucial, the Deputy President said the decisions that will be made by the Commission and the implementation will have a direct impact on residents of the said counties.
Mr Gachagua said President William Ruto is eager for the commission to get going and will ensure it gets the backing it requires to ensure the ecosystem of the rivers is properly rehabilitated.
The DP also said the Kenya Defence Forces have been seconded to the commission. Brigadier Joseph Muracia will be the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer.
He assured the counties that they will be part and parcel of the Commission and their input will be fully integrated.
Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti welcomed the decision saying they were ready to work with the Commission.
“This is a noble cause. We support the cleaning of the rivers 101 percent. We have to get it right this time around. Whatever is required of us we will do,” said Ndeti.
Kajiado counterpart Joseph Lenku promised to throw their weight behind the commission saying they will send representatives and allocate funds to support its work.
“We will allocate resources for the project and we will have our representatives fully participate,” said Lenku.
The Commission is chaired by Dr Pamela Olet and has a three-year mandate.
The Commission has also formed six sub-committees to address the different strategic areas and ensure faster realization of its objectives.
They include committees on Catchment Protection, Riparian and Wetland Protection and Reclamation along Nairobi River Basin, Waste to the Rivers and Clearance of Clog Waste and Dumpsites.
Others are sub-committees on Industrial and Institutional Waste and Drainage and Hydrology.