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Ploti maguta maguta! Advantages of buying land during the rainy season

The floods currently affecting various parts of the country have caused widespread devastation that may take a long time to recover from.

Many lives have been lost, particularly in the capital, Nairobi, where slum dwellers have borne the brunt of the impact.

The suburbs have not been spared either.

Over the past few weeks, the country has witnessed an emergency response as Kenya Red Cross and National Disaster Management Unit (NDMA) personnel work tirelessly around the clock to rescue victims.

With the government seemingly lacking a concrete plan to mitigate flooding during this intense rainy season, it is an opportune time for residential and commercial property investors to identify safe properties.

If you aspire to home ownership, the ongoing flooding is a stark reminder.

Now is the ideal time to thoroughly assess the pros and cons of potential sites for settling your family or establishing residential or commercial properties.

“Buyers should prioritise assessing the drainage systems and the topography of the land,” says Charles Wachira, a property agent with Prime Silver Investments Ltd.

Mr Wachira stresses the importance of understanding the true value of the land you are considering investing in and recommends due diligence and consultation with the Ministry of Lands.

“Apart from legal verification of ownership, you can personally assess the quality of drainage systems during the heavy rains, which is the best time to secure a good piece of land,” he advises.

Once a suitable piece of land has been identified, it is always advisable to engage a lawyer to draw up a comprehensive sale and purchase agreement.

Mr Ben Wamalwa, a farmer from the Western Kenya region, stresses the importance of geotechnical soil testing.

In Nairobi and other urban areas across the country, there have been reports of houses being submerged in water and soil due to poor soil drainage.

“For example, clay soils (cotton soil) have slow water drainage due to their texture. In such areas, it is important for buyers to closely examine the topography of the land,” Wamalwa stresses.

He recommends terracing and planting trees or napier grass to manage water flow and velocity.

Quality soil must have a balanced chemistry to support construction.
It should also have the capacity to absorb rainfall to resist erosion and run-off.

Above all, potential investors should base their decisions on the current condition and appearance of the land or plot.

The ongoing floods have caused extensive damage, highlighting the poor state of drainage infrastructure in the affected areas.

Despite warnings, the government bears responsibility for failing to improve social amenities.

The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has warned of more rain in the coming days.

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