Eight people are nursing injuries at Matisi market in Trans Nzoia County after a maize store collapsed and fell on their rental house which is in an adjacent plot.
The Shalom Maize store is said to have collapsed after a suspected overload of maize bags; an allegation that its owner Hanna Wanjiku has refuted and instead linked the collapse to the ongoing construction of the Kitale-Suam highway that she says might have weakened its foundation.
“My wife and kids were trapped in the debris but it took the assistance of neighbours to rescue them. They have been taken to hospital for treatment,” Abdi Asman, one of the tenants, said.
Amina Mohammed, who is one of the residents, said the incident caught them unawares and they are now wondering how they will survive since they have been rendered homeless.
Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Samson Ojwang said the victims were admitted at the Kitale County Hospital where they are undergoing treatment while the store is being cleared to ascertain if there are other people trapped inside.
“We have tasked a team from the department of public works to ascertain if the construction of this store met all the required standards as prescribed by the National Construction Authority guidelines,” Ojwang said.
He said the owner of the building will be prosecuted if she did not observe all the required regulations while constructing the store.
“My late husband and I put up this house while considering all the guidelines of construction.
"This building began developing cracks the moment the caterpillars began clearing ground for construction of the Kitale-Suam highway,” Wanjiku said.