6 December 2017

Kenya: Huruma Estate, Thika Road Top List of Areas With Dangerous Buildings

The National Construction Authority (NCA) has found more than 650 buildings across the country unfit for human occupation, highlighting poor safety standards in Kenya's booming real estate sector.

Nairobi's Huruma estate tops the list of areas with dangerous building, having been found to have 388 such structures, followed by Thika Road's 85 and Pipeline's 65.

Other city estates with structurally unsound buildings include Babadogo (38), Dagoretti (16), Umoja (18), Nairobi West (9) and South B (5).

Moses Nyakiongora, secretary of Buildings Inspectorate at the Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Ministry, said the identified buildings need to be demolished.

EVICTION NOTICES

"We have asked the county governments to issue eviction notices to owners of the buildings," he said during release of the report on the state of buildings in the country.

The majority of the 4,879 buildings that were inspected and found to be structurally unsound are in Nairobi Kisii, Kitui and Athi River.

The Buildings Inspectorate conducted the audits in high-risk towns, including Mombasa, Kisii and Kisumu following a recent upsurge in the collapse of buildings.

Some of the defects flagged in the buildings include structural weakness, uneven staircases, poor ventilation, poor workmanship and lack of professional supervision.

The audit shows 826 buildings are unsafe and require some repairs before being declared safe for human occupation.

Mr Nyakiongora asked tenants to beware of landlords that charge lower rates than the average locality rent as this could be a bait for them to occupy the unsafe buildings.

To date, the number of buildings that have been demolished stand at 34, excluding those that came down on their own.

COLLAPSED FLAT

In April last year, a residential flat collapsed at Huruma estate killing more than 40 people and rendering 150 others homeless.

Investigations into buildings neighbouring the collapsed flat revealed that most of them were sitting on riparian reserves and were disasters in waiting.

Mr Nyakiongora noted that demolition of buildings in Huruma riparian reserves scheduled to commence on March 15 this year was suspended due to security reasons.

"The operation will resume in January 2018 and any dangerous structure will be attended to," said Mr Nyakiongora.

The number of suspect buildings at Pipeline estate stands at 185 with most having more than the approved floors and no lifts in contravention of the law.

Kenya

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