Demolitions to go on, warns agency

NCA says houses in urban centres that have been death dens cannot be allowed to stand

Developers of buildings earmarked for demolition have themselves to blame for failing to adhere to the required standards, National Construction Authority (NCA) has said.

Acting Executive Director Maurice Akech reiterated that any building that has not met specifications and standards or accreditation by the relevant authorities will be demolished.

“There is growing trend of impunity which involves certain errant officials as well. Substandard buildings are just that and need to go down because they pose a risk to the investor, occupants and the environment,” he said at a stakeholders’ forum in Nairobi.

A lot of action, Akech said, is taking place now across the country using  multi-agency approaches so that the country can rid these buildings from its midst. In the recent past, a couple of buildings condemned by NCA have been brought down leaving a cloud of destruction and loss of investment.

National Building Inspectorate (NBI) and National Environment Management Authority are targeting illegal residential structures with more buildings in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu said to be facing demolition.

There have been complaints from resident associations about sprouting buildings in their areas that have defied industry regulations and authorities are now blacklisting certain individuals who have continuously broken laws for selfish gains.

Akech said that before any developer puts up a building, there needs to be certainty that all stages are sanctioned and approved by NCA who are mandated with enforcement. “Houses in urban centres that have been death dens cannot be allowed to stand and we will act swiftly to ensure we have some sanity and order in this sector,” he added and lauded the parent Ministry for supporting the  policy.

Nema has been on the forefront around protection of riparian land and together with the NBI has recently brought down the South End Mall along Langata Road and Java House in Kileleshwa which sit on waterways.

According to a report soon to be published by NCA, of the 5,000 buildings audited 800 were considered unsafe and needed structural reconditioning to meet set standards.

Akech described the statistics as deeply worrying and called for more vigilance from residents, adding: “We just have to be on the lookout because it is important that this sector regains its integrity.”

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