Unsafe buildings pulled down in Zimmerman

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

Six and four storey buildings earmarked as unsafe were yesterday demolished at Zimmerman Estate, Nairobi by National Building Inspectorate (NBI). NBI is a multi-sectoral agency comprises the Ministry of Transport, Housing, and Urban Development, National Construction Authority, Kenya Power, Kenya Pipeline among others.

Speaking to the People Daily, NBI secretary Moses Kiogora said the two are among 20 other buildings to be demolished during the operation. He said most of the buildings are on riparian land and also have structural defects hence unsafe for human occupation.

“We had issued notices to the owners and tenants to vacate the buildings some for over a year but ignored. We cannot sit and wait for disaster to strike,” said Kiogora. He said the programme to bring down unsafe building has started in Zimmerman and will be extended to Mathare, Huruma, and Kariobangi.

Kiogora said this is a long-term operation and the main focus is on those estates where most buildings have failed the tests of various regulatory authorities. “We have conducted scientific tests on 48 buildings across Nairobi but mostly on the four estates with the highest number of risky buildings. About 20 must be demolished,” he said, adding that 28 others can be rehabilitated.

Meanwhile, National Construction Authority (NCA) has suspended the construction of 132 residential buildings across Nairobi County between January and February. As per section 5 (2) (g) of the National Construction Authority Act (2011), the Authority is mandated to promote and ensure quality in the construction industry.

The construction sites have been suspended because of lack of an NCA registered contractor on site, a signboard showing all professionals engaged in the project, safety signage on site.

Others are lack of personal protective equipment on site, sufficient hoarding, and fencing, proof of project registration, an NCA compliance certificate and accredited skilled workers and site supervisors.

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