Barely two weeks after a building under construction at Kinoo caved in leaning on another occupied flat, another building at Juja in Kiambu County has collapsed leaving a trail of damages.
The five-storey building where over 50 Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) students were living started caving in on Sunday morning allegedly after a sewerage system was dug inside two weeks ago weakening its foundation.
Besides threatening dozens of lives, the students living inside the building lost all their valuables as they were ordered to leave.
According to one of the students, only a female student whose door was locked suffered minor injuries as she struggled to leave the house through the window.
“I have been in that building since January and about two weeks ago, they started to dig a sewage system. Cracks started developing at the gate making it even hard to lock. An engineer visited the building and advised that the flat could fall any time,” said Brian Okoe, a JKUAT student.
Officers from the National Building Inspectorate in collaboration with County engineers safely demolished the flat on Sunday evening following orders from the Kiambu county government and the National Construction Authority (NCA).
According to Mark Thiong’o, the JKUAT students’ president, affected students have been hosted inside the institution hostels even as efforts continue to be made to help them start life afresh.
“52 students were affected by the incident of the building collapsing and as JKUAT, we have organized with the school management to have them hosted inside the school hostels but having lost all their valuables, we are working with stakeholders to enable them to recoup,” he said.
Thiong’o blamed the collapse of buildings in the area and different parts of the country on greedy developers whom he accused of hiring bogus contractors and failing to follow requisite building processes.
He at the same time called on county and national leaders from the area to support the students materially to help them continue with their studies without much struggle.
Efforts to talk to the county and NBI engineers were futile.