June 13, 2024
President Ruto Scraps Eastleigh Building Cap He Announced In May

President Ruto Scraps Eastleigh Building Cap He Announced In May

President William Ruto has reversed his previous controversial endorsement to lift Eastleigh’s 12-story building cap, proposing a 30-story increase.

Ruto reversed his decision during the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Kenya Air Force (KAF) on Saturday, June 8.

Ruto emphasized the dangers posed by unauthorized building heights near Moi Airbase and the importance of adhering to established standards.

Addressing the matter, President Ruto stated, “Let me also commit in discussions with the county of Nairobi, we will make sure that this facility does not lose its premier position.

“All buildings that have been built beyond the height that is provided for in law, we will work with Nairobi City Council to make sure that all developers adhere to the standards agreed upon with the Kenya Air Force and Kenya Defence Forces.”

In May, Ruto proposed that removing the building cap would address accommodation issues by providing citizens with more housing options and improving living conditions, particularly for slum residents.

President Ruto Scraps Eastleigh Building Cap He Announced In May
Eastleigh, Nairobi.

“Since I am the Commander in Chief, I have said that in Eastleigh, you couldn’t build a house beyond 12 floors but now we can build storey buildings of up to 30 floors so that citizens can get accommodation and live in a harmonious neighbourhood,” he had stated.

President Ruto’s recent reversal on lifting the building cap in Eastleigh contrasts sharply with Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s earlier statements in March 2023.

Sakaja had previously announced the removal of the floor limit, allowing landlords to construct buildings with up to 25 floors.

Previously, residential apartment buildings in Nairobi were limited to four floors, with developers prohibited from going above that limit.

Sakaja’s rationale for lifting the height restriction was based on the need for efficient emergency evacuation procedures, particularly in areas near airports where the President’s prompt evacuation may be required during crises.

The initial proposal sparked a heated debate, forcing Sakaja to defend the decision.

Sakaja explained that the decision followed discussions with President Ruto about expanding Nairobi’s infrastructure.

On Citizen TV, Governor Sakaja said, “The reason we have that airbase was to evacuate VVIPs or the President in case of an emergency. I had told him if he tried to use that route, he will get stuck because the place is chocked.”

Sakaja stated that the restrictions had caused significant traffic delays in Eastleigh and that Ruto had consulted with urban experts before deciding to lift the height restrictions.

“He actually thought about it and he engaged his urban experts and they lifted the restrictions there,” Sakaja added.

Despite these discussions, the government intends to revisit and potentially halt the plan to raise the building heights to 30 floors.

President Ruto has made it clear that the Moi Airbase’s safety and operational requirements come first, ensuring that Nairobi County does not proceed with any plans to exceed the current 12-floor limit.

President Ruto Scraps Eastleigh Building Cap He Announced In May

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