NLC, KMA reclaim Likoni navigation paths
Over 150 families in Senti Kumi, Likoni, were evicted on Saturday after the National Lands Commission and the Kenya Maritime Authority’s notice for them to move away from navigational aids elapsed.
The NLC issued the notice in January 18, 2018 for the individuals to surrender the sites and leave within 90 days.
The navigational aids were put up in the early 1920s and commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri said the land was entirely reserved for navigation lights.
Mr Swazuri accompanied the Likoni security team to the demolitions in Mombasa County.
The officials tore down several structures without allowing residents to remove their belongings.
“A fortnight ago we told the residents to move by February 9 since their houses obscured navigation lights,” the chair explained.
“The law of navigation requires that the lights be sufficiently spaced and that the corridor be clear of structures. Captains of ships gaining entry to the port have had a hard time as the roofs reflect [light, presenting the risk of a] shipwreck,” he noted.
Mr Swazuri said that since year 2000, complaints were made about the blockage, Kenya being warned that the port of Mombasa risked being shut down due to poor visibility of the navigation aids by vessels.
“The International Maritime Organization had threatened to stop vessels from coming to the port because of the poor visibility of the beacons that aid navigation into the Kilindini Habour,” he said.
“It is a threat to our economy and the other East African states. We are doing this because of the law and to save the economy.”
Mr Swazuri noted that at least 200 people were affected but said the government will not compensate them since they encroached o the land and constructed the houses illegally.
He, however, gave the residents until February 15 to clear the way leaf.
The chairman said the commission had a list of 31 properties near navigation paths.
They include the State House in Mombasa, Old Nyali Bridge, Old Port, within the Navy Base at Mtongwe, Malindi Mnarani, and other areas of Kilifi County.
“The KMA and the Kenya Ports Authority say the [lighthouse] next to State House is visible and that the one at Old Port is no longer used as ships no longer dock there,” Mr Swazuri said.
“Those in Kilifi, Mnarani and Malindi are high up, therefore visible. Only the ones at Senti Kumi have been overshadowed by illegal structures.”
By WACHIRA MWANGI
Originally published at www.nation.co.ke.