How To Avoid Purchasing Riparian Land

It is estimated that over 4,000 buildings in Nairobi County have been marked for demolition in an exercise to clear structures that have been put up in river banks and road reserves.  The Institute of Surveyors of Kenya approximates the total cost of the buildings to be Kshs 40Billion. Once demolished the owners will suffer losses considering that some were put up through loans. Businesses in these premises created employment to Kenyans who may be rendered jobless upon demolitions. While in some cases investors are to blame for investing in riparian zones it is notable that some of the building received approvals from rogue officials within governments agencies.

What is Riparian land?

Riparian land is defined by Kenyan laws as being a minimum of 6 meters and up to a maximum of 30 meters on either side of a river bank from the highest water mark. These areas occur along watercourses and water bodies. They are distinctly different from surrounding lands because of unique soil and vegetation, these characteristics are strongly influenced by the presence of water according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Who owns riparian land?

This land is purely public land under Article 67 of the Kenyan Constitution and should not be allocated to anyone. Public land is owned by the government. These includes land owned by state organs, institutions or land which no known owner exists, minerals, rivers and lakes, forests, game parks and national reserves.

The power to allocate public land is vested in the National Land Commission(NLC) on behalf of national or county governments. NLC is in charge of recommending a National Land Policy to the National Government.

Current and potential investors may have been worried by the demolitions and they may opt to shun investing out of fear, however, below are notable ways of avoiding purchasing riparian land:

In conclusion it is important to be equipped with all the necessary information helpful in safeguarding your land investment in Kenya to avoid demolition of your investment in future.

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