An assessment of the impacts of increased land subdivision on water supply infrastucture in Karen-Langata,Nairobi
Most governments all over the world adopt land use planning regulations that help protect the urban and natural environment, gear infrastructural investment with development and maintain as well as enhance property values. They use master plans, zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, building codes and other public policies to regulate urban planning and development. The results of unguided growth have made it clear that all too often the private developer fails to consider the interests of the larger community in his attempts to profit from his investments. Numerous community problems have resulted from such actions, including: poor location and siting of buildings, traffic congestion and unbalanced growth (UNCHS, HABITAT, 1996). The Kenyan Government has in place a Local Government, which is mandated to regulate land development. However, regardless of their best efforts, land development continues to be a problem. This is because despite local planning authorities being empowered to control the use and development of land and buildings in the interest of proper and orderly development of their area of jurisdiction, land use in urban areas have witnessed abuse of land use planning regulations. In particular, there have been a lot of illegal subdivisions of land and mushrooming of unplanned settlements causing a severe deficiency in existing limited services. The study aimed at finding out the impacts of increased subdivision on existing water supply infrastructure in Karen-Langata residential areas. The study was based on the assumption that lack of compliance to physical planning regulations and development controls will have a negative impact on the environment. Data was collected through administration of questionnaires and interviewing various stakeholders. Data was analysed under four main themes: identification of the building codes and zoning regulation for the study area; the type of development taking place in study area; the relationship between the planning regulation instruments and development in the study area and an assessment of the impacts of these developments on water infrastructure in the study area. To carry out the study successfully, two types of data; primary and secondary, were used. Data was gathered through observation, oral interviews, questionnaire administration and photography. The study found out that there are various land use planning regulations and instruments which govern land use in Karen Langata. These include zoning regulations, building codes, subdivisions regulations as well as a Local Physical Development Plan specifically for the study area. However, the study revealed that despite the land use planning regulations being in place, subdivision and subsequent development of properties has continued to increase at a rapid rate resulting in negative impacts to the water supply infrastructure. Developments in the study area not only consist of residential properties but also commercial and institutional developments. These have placed pressure on the existing water supply infrastructure. The study also ascertained that boreholes are the main alternative to NWSC water supply in the study area, which compensate for the shortfall in water supply. Nevertheless, the number of boreholes has exceeded the number required by t!,1c WRMA and pose a threat to the ground water resources in the study area. To resolve these problems, this study has given several recommendations such as the augmentation of the NWSC water supply network and the enforcement of regulations concerning ground water use. The study also explores the use of alternative sources of water such as rain water harvesting. The study finally recommends collaboration between the NCC and the residents through KLDA to ensure that the I PDP is strictly adhered to.