Sustainability of land uses adjoining Ngong River and its environs: A case of the stretch between enterprise road and Lunga Lunga

Rapid urbanization of changing drivers, such as population growth, economic activities and
consumption patterns place increasing pressure on the environment rendering sustainable
development difficult as these are serious and persistent barriers to sustainable development.
Degradation of urban river systems undermines development and threatens future development
progress. The growing urban population against a backdrop of scarcity of resources like
development land has intensified this problem.
This study is based on man-nature interface on a river system within Nairobi. The study mainly
focuses on the sustainability of land uses along Ngong River system. It investigates the
economic, social and environmental implications of land uses along Ngong River ranging from
the industrial, human settlements, urban agriculture, quarrying to the infrastructural uses. It
further examines the opportunities and constraints to sustainable utilization of the Ngong River
system with the aim of proposing strategies toward sustainable use of this riparian zone in order
to protect, conserve and enhance the general urban environment of Ngong River system.
The study specifically features the stretch of Ngong River cutting across Mukuru slums within
the Industrial area mainly at Viwandani, Kwa Reuben and Kwa Njenga slums. This stretch of
Ngong River has the highest number of mixture of land uses which gives a better scope for
studying the sustainability of man-nature interaction in an ecosystem. The study was carried out
using secondary data, based on literature review and primary data in form of field survey,
administration of questionnaires at household, business and industry levels and interview
schedules for various stakeholder institutions.

The study revealed that the un-sustainability of the Ngong River system is caused by socioeconomic,
institutional and urban planning factors. The improper use of this riparian zone,
inadequate enforcement and development control and conflicting policies on riparian zone
standards were among the main issues highlighted. The study thus analyses the economic,
social and environmental implications of these issues and gives proposals on ways of reversing
this detrimental trend towards sustainable utilization of the Ngong River system.

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