The section of the upmarket Green-Park Estate in Athi River that was flooded after Stoni Athi River burst its banks does not lie on riparian land, the National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) has said.
NEMA director-general Geoffrey Wahungu said Tuesday that the Sh30 billion development is simply situated in a low-lying zone.
“Athi Plains, River Athi and surroundings are low-lying and some even below river flow level. Because of unpredictable rains, lots of silt and debris, the river overshot its bank by over 100 metres causing serious damage to property owners at the estate,” the official said.
His comments come days after residents whose property and houses were damaged by flood water blamed NEMA for their woes.
They claimed they were duped by the developer (Superior Homes Kenya) who sold them them houses built on riparian land.
However, Mr Wahungu has rubbished claims of corruption at the agency adding that the law was followed before the project was approved.
“The property has observed the riparian space according to law as per the licence condition,” he said.
The development sits on 10,000 acres formerly owned by the East African Portland Cement company.
The investor has so far constructed and sold 700 houses on 136 acres. The homes are in five phases which were sold at between Sh9 million and Sh18 million.
The 10 affected houses lie in phase one of the project.