Ruiru building that had developed cracks, started sinking finally collapses

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 21 Nov, 2022 08:06 | 2 mins read
The 6-storey flat in Ruiru that had yesterday developed cracks and has eventually collapsed. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi
The 6-storey flat in Ruiru that had yesterday developed cracks and has eventually collapsed. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi

The building that housed over 200 people in Ruiru, Kiambu county has finally collapsed.

The collapse occurred in the early morning hours of Monday, November 21, 2022.

Over 200 occupants who were living there had yesterday been ordered to vacate the building that had developed cracks and as a result, began sinking from one side.

Residents said that huge cracks appeared on the walls of the ground and second floors on Saturday, causing them to raise an alarm as people started rushing out with their belongings.
It was also reported to have begun sinking on one side with some windows and doors failing to open or close.

Incidentally, residents said that the ill-fated house was initially a bar and the owners continued with construction even as the pub was operational.
One of the dwellers said the structure shook and vibrated at night and in the morning, they woke up to see cracks in the columns and beams.
Area MCA Kimani Wa Nduta said the owner of the building should pay the tenants at least one month’s rent so that they find alternative accommodation.
“It is quite unfortunate that another building in Kiambu has collapsed. Most disturbing however is the confusion that this incident has caused the occupants. The owner of this building who actually knew of the mess should be ordered to compensate those living there with at least one- or two month's rent,” said Wa Nduta.
His colleague John Kamande of Githothua ward who is a member of the Kiambu County assembly’s building and planning committee revealed that MCAs will summon the CEC in charge of planning to shed light on the increased collapse of houses in the county.
“We will summon the CEC in charge of planning to tell us the measures he has put in place to avert a further collapse of houses and what has not been happening to occasion numerous collapses,” Kamande said.
On his part, Kiambu governor Kimani Wamatangi revealed that he will be meeting his Nairobi counterpart Johnson Sakaja and Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Housing Zacharia Mwangi Njeru today, to deliberate on the recurrent issue.

Wamatangi insisted that his government has instituted measures to avert a further collapse of buildings saying that a task force had been formed to go around the county to inspect all houses.
Any house that is found to have contravened construction regulations, he said, will be subjected to expert analysis to determine whether it can be cured or brought down.
“We will bring down all the houses that are risky to our people while those that we find can be cured, their owners will be forced to cure them and pay the county a fine for flouting the stipulated regulations,” Wamatangi warned.
Poor quality construction works coupled with the use of substandard steel and cement have also been pointed out as largely responsible for the collapse of weak buildings, an illegality that has made many contractors overnight millionaires at the expense of occupants.

Reports about past incidents of buildings collapsing in Kiambu reveal that majority of the occurrences are not satisfactorily prosecuted by the county and in courts of law, a status quo that has been blamed for encouraging developers to thrive in the lawlessness.

Most of the buildings luckily collapse before occupation pointing to serious structural and design improprieties that have left developers struggling to repay loans that would have otherwise been repaid by the building occupants once complete.