Ruiru, Ruaka in Kiambu County show many signs of suspected buildings

The ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban development yesterday issued a stern warning to the people involved in buidings that have been of recent collapsing.

This comes after the menace of collapsing buildings that have caused death and injuries and some that are nearly collapsing posing danger to the public has been increasingly growing.

From Huruma building collapse to Kisii tragedy where eight people (8) people were killed and injuring several others,
collapsing or threatening to collapse, the life of Kenyans remains on a threat, especially for those occupying storey buildings.

Before people could burry Kisii memories, on Saturday 19th November, 2016 a wall collapsed in Ruaka and killed one person.And on the wake of Wednesday 23rd November, 2016 a building under construction but partially occupied began  collapsed in Ruiru but luckily the occupants escaped unhurt but traumatized.

As if the begining of end times had knocked, the following day, a building already occupied showed signs of structural
failure at Ruaka and our officers evacuated the tenants in good time before a disaster could happen.

“My Ministry, through the National Buildings Inspectorate has been conducting inspection of buildings to ascertain their suitability for human habitation,” a statement from the ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development signed by James W. Macharia, Cabinet Secretary read.

“The exercise has been concentrated in Nairobi because of the many buildings suspected to be unsafe. However, we have already cascaded the exercise to the Counties and currently the team is in Kisii,”  the statement read in part.

“There have been signs that Ruiru and Ruaka in Kiambu County have shown signs of many buildings that are suspected to be unsafe. In order to reassure the public and ensure safety of these occupants, I have directed the National Buildings Inspectorate to lead other Government Agencies and the Kiambu County Government to inspect and audit all buildings in Ruiru and Ruaka as a matter of urgency.”

The statement further noted that the  exercise will cover both buildings under construction and those that are
already occupied.

With process expected to kick off immediately, the developers/owners of the buildings have been directed to provide various documents  and responsible organs that will be used to evaluate the quality of the building.

For buildings under construction, the developers/owners were requested to submit all approvals (drawings, NEMA, National Construction Authority and County Government) and 0n the inspection day, the developer/owner shall avail their consultants to meet with Inspection Team on site so that theytake professional responsibility.

“Any site lacking any of the above will be closed immediately and no further construction shall proceed until all conditions are met,” the statement further read.

For buildings that are occupied, the landlords/owners were also requested to avail approved drawings, occupation Certificate, as built drawings, with the statement adding that the developers/owners may also be required to be represented by their consultants for buildings constructed in the last 5 years.

Warning to the public

The ministry, on the other hand, warned the public draw the attention of the public that the followings are signs of a building that is suspected of being unsafe.

Visible cracks on walls, slabs, beams and columns, plumpness of walls and columns – poor verticality caused either
by poor workmanship or differential settlements, having difficulty opening and closing majority of the doors and
windows in a living unit, excessive deflections and vibrations, dampness caused by leakages of water through walls,
foundations and slabs, sinking wall/foundations- caused by poor structural designs, and poor ventilation/lighting – creates difficulty in breathing and diminished vision and medical conditions were noted as some of things that shoul make occupants worried.

“Tenants should seek copies of Occupation Certificates from landlords as confirmation that the facility is certified by County Authorities for occupation. All are cautioned that once a building has been marked for further investigation or closure no one should occupy the building or even be engaged for further construction in such a building,” read the statement.