Public hearing on proposed transport termini at Asian Quarters held

NEMA’s head of EIA, Ms. Marrian Kioko speaking during the public hearing in Nyeri [PHOTO: A.
KAMIRI/NEMA]

By Agnes Kamiri

The public hearing for the proposed transport termini of Asian Quarter, bus station, modern stalls, business park and social amenities was held on 20th February, 2020 at the project site, Asian quarters in Nyeri county. The public hearing was organized by NEMA based on the high environmental public concerns and comments raised by interested stakeholders concerning the proposed project. Prior to the public hearing, a Government Agencies meeting was held at the Deputy Commissioners office on 19th February, 2020 in Nyeri. The aim of the meeting was to give Government Agencies a chance to comment on the EIA report of the project. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Joseph Mwangi. The proposed project will have business stalls, Matatu bus park, Garage, Administrative block for county government, police post, fire station, lavatories, one elevated tank, 4 storey commercial centre. A road to the Asian quarter will also be constructed. The project will occupy an area of 9.6 acres. According to the proponent of the project, the project
will have very many positive impacts. These includes; a green park, employment creation, improved security in the area, decongest Nyeri town, provision of walk ways, as there will be daily passage of about 30,000 people daily. The project will upgrade Nyeri town and it will change the face of Nyeri town.
The negative impacts of the project are; noise pollution, decommissioning plan of the dumpsite, air pollution. The project indicated that the proponent of
the project who is the County Government of Nyeri, will mitigate the concerns raised by planting trees after the completion of the project, Build houses to
serve as buffer to mitigate noise and dust. The project has already started despite the Authority issuing several improvement notices to the county
government of Nyeri and the contractor to stop construction works for the bus termini without an EIA license.

During the hearing, members of the public accused NEMA of halting the project and said that the officials are being used by those opposed to the project. The project is worth Kshs. 600m and it’s being funded by the World Bank.
Speaking on behalf of the Director General, Ms. Marian Kioko said that NEMA is not against the
project but it’s simply carrying out its mandate to involve the public and ensuring that every Kenyan
has the right to a clean environment. In her closing remarks she said that with the information collected from the hearing, NEMA will work with all the Lead Agencies concerned, before making a decision. She indicated that NEMA will make an independent decision and all due process
will be followed. The meeting was chaired by the Area Chief, Mr. Liaulo on behalf of the County Commissioner. Also present during the hearing was the County Government Officials led by Dr. Kwai Wanjaria, CEC in charge of environment. Also in attendance was the Area MCA Mr. Kanyari and former Nyeri MP, Esther Murugi. The Lead Agencies represented included NLC, WRMA, Public Health and Physical planning.

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