Councils to blame for accidents, says AAK

July 24, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – The Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) says ineffectiveness of Municipal councils to inspect buildings is to blame for the fatal collapses in Kisii and Mombasa earlier this year.

AAK Chairman Steven Oundo said on Friday that investigations have revealed that collapsed structures in both towns had many structural errors.

“Close scrutiny by the Ministry of Public Works and (AAK) indicated that top reinforcement was poor and the quality of concrete was poor since the concrete and reinforcements had completely collapsed,” he said.

“Consultations with the Mayor revealed that the Municipal Council of Kisii and NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) had issued notices to stop further works,” he added.

Mr Oundo called on local authorities to enhance their capacity to minimise loss of lives.

“The issue about the capacity of local authorities to be addressed with the seriousness we are addressing The Hague and the seriousness we are addressing HIV,” he said.

“What the local government requests for personnel, it has to be taken very seriously and funds have to be availed for that particular exercise,” he added.

The Kisii disaster is the latest in a series of such incidents, which have raised questions about enforcement of the building code.

Another building in downtown Nairobi collapsed in January. There were several other such incidents last year.

The most serious collapse in recent times occurred in 2006 when a building with over 280 construction workers in Nairobi came down, killing nine.

There was drama in Kisii town after residents who were fetching water at a stream near the scene of the collapse screamed after the ill fated building came down.

Workers of a road construction Company H Young abandoned their work and offered four earthmovers to help in the rescue operation. Four ambulances were also at hand to rush those rescued to hospital.


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