Illegal structures along water ways in Narok Town were demolished by county officials on Tuesday night as the county administration made attempts to respond to raging floods that have swept through the town in recent days.
Flash floods over the weekend caused destruction, with businesspeople at a market near the main bus stage losing their goods.
The Narok County Government had earlier issued a one-day public notice to kiosk owners in the town ordering them to pull down their structures, but it was ignored.
“All kiosk operators are hereby directed to demolish them from the date of this letter, failure to which the county government will demolish them at your own risk and cost,” stated the notice dated November 21.
It was issued through Mr Justus Rutto, the county Chief Officer for Physical Planning and Urban Development.??
The county government also brought down illegal kiosks and open air markets which had mushroomed along public roads and road reserves.
Businessmen claimed they had been given a one-week notice and that it was not clear which structures were being targeted.
Mr David Mbatiany, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman in Narok branch, welcomed the demolition of the illegal structures.
He said the removal of the structures will help curb flooding in the town and give it a facelift that would attract investors.
Mr Mbatiany accused a cartel of county government staff of illegally leasing out undesignated areas to unsuspecting traders.
“The county government should also investigate its staff who are renting the spaces along road reserves and waterways. All these illegal kiosks belong to the county staff,” said Mr Mbatiany.
Narok Town stands between two streams that empty their waters into the Enkare Narok River. Naturally when it rains, the streams flood, carrying water from the upper catchment of Olopito.
On Wednesday, bulldozers were working on flood paths and trenches through the town, widening and deepening them to ease water flow.
Governor Samuel Tunai announced that additional dams and water pans will be built by the county government to reduce flooding in the town.
“The flood check dams that we built have been a success in containing flooding in Narok in the past three years. However, the county government will construct extra dams to ensure we do not experience a repeat of flooding cases again,” the governor said.