Nairobi National Park and Southern bypass, Kenya


The Government of Kenya and the Kenya National Highways Authority has proposed the construction of the Southern Bypass through the Nairobi National Park (NNP) for a distance of 4 km and 120m width. Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) were requested to provide a 15 hectares transport corridor and offered Ksh. 1.8 Billion to acquire suitable land along the boundary of NNP as compensation.

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Basic Data
NameNairobi National Park and Southern bypass, Kenya
SiteNairobi city
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Kenya Urban Roads Authority has signed a contract with a Chinese construction firm to construct a 28 km Southern Bypass transport corridor which is planned to enter into the Nairobi Park for a distance of 4 km along the northern boundary. This includes a four-lane highway plus a reserve for two railways in future. Work on other sections of the bypass has already begun.

Project Area (in hectares)150
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population38 million Kenyans
Start Date12/2011
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Kenya through Kenya Urban Roads Authority , Ministry of Roads;, Kenya National Highways Authority;, Kenya Urban Roads Authority;, Kenya Wildlife Service;, NEMA;, Kenya Forest Service;, Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife;, Kenya Airport Authority;, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSouthern Bypass action Committee composed of, Nairobi Greenline Trust, Friends of Nairobi National Park (FoNNap), Nature Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Conservation Forum, Clean Earth, East African Wild Life Service, UNEP, Green Hearts Kenya, African Network for Animal Welfare
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNegotiated alternative solution
Development of Alternatives-Construction of a tunnel to among other things,

-Meet the International Civil Aviation

requirements that require at least 570 meters clearance from the North-South runway of any airport. This proposal was deemed expensive.

-Demolition of houses around the park, if indeed they were allocated illegally and because the 1900s survey maps had allocated that land for a road.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Though it was a success for NET to revoke the EIA for the section of the road that was to pass through NNP, Construction of the road in other sections is still ongoing with no clear plan on how the National Park will be avoided. In fact, there are fears that KENHA might ignore the ruling and construct the road through the National Park.
Sources and Materials

Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, 2010;

Forests Act, 2005;

Forest Policy;

Wildlife (Conservation and Management) Act of 1976 ;

Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) of 1999;

Environmental Policy.


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Meta Information
ContributorSerah Munguti
Last update08/04/2014