3 people confirmed dead in collapsed Kasarani building

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 16 Nov, 2022 16:35 | 2 mins read
Collapsed building in Kasarani PHOTO/Courtesy
Collapsed building in Kasarani PHOTO/Courtesy

At least three people, including a vendor, have been confirmed dead in the Kasarani building collapse.

Kenya Red Cross officials said that six others were rescued.

The number of people trapped under the rubble is still unclear, but locals at the site said around eight or nine people were near the building when it came down on Tuesday.

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja called for the arrest of the developer of the ill-fated Kasarani building, which collapsed on Tuesday.

He said his office is in liaison with the DCI and police to search and immediately arrest the developer.

Sakaja said the developer never got a permit from city hall for the construction.

“The developer did not get a permit from the county. There was an enforcement notice but because of impunity, he decided to go on. He needs to be charged with murder,” he said.

Stamping authority, the county boss said city hall will take action and the developer must be charged in court.

Sakaja also said the construction site had been closed.

He said the developer knew the standard of building materials were wrong, lacked a permit and had an enforcement notice but still ignored and proceeded with the works.

The governor gave a stern warning to shoddy developers involved in such construction works, that their days are numbered.

“All those who are involved in such constructions I want to put them on notice. Pull down those buildings yourself or we are going to come for you,” he said.

Sakaja recounted a similar incident in 2016 where a building went down in Huruma estate saying 47 lives were lost with the majority being children and mothers.

“Many people were there including the former president who talked tough and nothing happened," Sakaja said.

“Now that we are in charge we won’t talk much but you will see action.”

The governor also said he has changed the existing Nairobi City County Urban Planning Technical Committee, responsible for approving buildings.

“We have already changed the technical committee that approves buildings in Nairobi. If any officer will be found culpable at any point, they will go home and be charged,” Sakaja said.

According to a report by National Construction Authority (NCA)P poor workmanship and ignorance of the laws are among the leading causes of such incidences.

Research done by NCA in 2018, revealed that buildings collapsed due to technical issues such as substandard materials and lack of quality assurance.

Other factors include ignorance of laws and regulations, inadequate laws, poor coordination, lack of proper material testing tools and poor construction supervision, among others

This could indicate that there is a lot of impunity and corruption in the sector.

It could also explain why in scenes where buildings have collapsed, some officials go into hiding while some rush to the site and declare them unsafe.

Past incidents even beyond Nairobi, have revealed that a majority of such efforts are rarely prosecuted successfully.

NCA report 2020, shows that 10,791 of the buildings in the country are unsafe and either need reinforcment before occupation or be demolished.

This was after an assessment of 14,895 buildings.

At least 1,217 buildings were found to be fair and only 2,194 were certified as safe. NCA said 723 buildings in the country had been marked as very dangerous.

The report stated that 87 buildings collapsed over the past five years while an estimated 200 people lost their lives with more than 1,000 injured.

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