, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has directed the National Buildings Inspectorate to urgently lead the County Government of Kiambu and other government agencies on an inspection of buildings in Ruiru and Ruaka.
Macharia says the fatal collapse of a wall in Ruaka earlier this month followed by the collapse of a partially occupied building under construction in Ruiru and the most recent news of a sinking building in Ruaka has raised red flags.
He says until recently the efforts of the inspectorate have been centred around Nairobi but following signs that many buildings in Ruiru and Ruaka and elsewhere may be unsafe, the audit exercise has moved to the counties.
“My ministry, through the National Buildings Inspectorate has been conducting inspection of buildings to ascertain their suitability for human habitation. The exercise has been mainly 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.”
Already he says the inspectorate team is in Kisii where a building collapse in the town a fortnight ago resulted in the deaths of eight people.
In Ruiru and Ruaka, he says, owners of buildings under construction will be required to provide the inspectorate team with approvals from the National Construction Authority, the National Environment Management Authority and County Government or risk having their activities shut down until all requirement are met.
Those with occupied buildings will be required to provide approved drawings and an occupation certificate.
He has also listed warning signs those in occupied buildings should be on the lookout for including visible cracks on walls, slabs, beams or columns; plumpness of walls and columns, difficulty opening doors and windows, excessive vibrations, dampness caused by leakage of water through walls, foundations and slabs, sinking walls or foundations and poor ventilation or lighting that cause breathing difficulty and diminished vision respectively.