, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Tenants of a five-storey building in Ruaka, Kiambu County whose images were circulated heavily on social media on Thursday on account of its sinking pillars, had all been cleared out of the building by Friday.
The National Construction Authority asked residents to leave the premises so as to give room for proper inspection of the building.
An official of the National Building Inspectorate at the State Department of Housing, Moses Nyakiongora, told Capital FM News said they would inspect the building to determine if it could be salvaged rather than be brought down.
Nyakiongora said starting Wednesday, it would be an exercise the department would extend to surrounding areas that have a history of poor construction including Ruaka and Ruiru.
“We shall start from Ruiru – Kimbo then move to Ruaka after two weeks; Ruaka the major problem is that there are many high-rise buildings coming up and there is no sewage system. All of them are on septic tanks making all the water stagnate thus destabilising the ground,” he stated.
According to the tenants Capital FM News spoke to, the building started sinking on Wednesday night when they noticed cracks on the walls and the floor start to “bend” which prompted them to call for help from the county government.
“The Kiambu County government came in quite fast, after about three hours and ordered an immediate evacuation. We were told to return in the daylight for our belongings. I had not planned for this to happen, I will be forced to move to just any house,” one lamented to Capital FM News.
The building is estimated to be worth about Sh200 million shillings with about 50 houses where 80 per cent of the residents are leasers and 20 per cent owners.
“I had just bought the house three months ago for about Sh5 million I was sure I had secured a home for my family, I am so confused, I don’t know what to think anymore, I need a glass of water,” another resident who also did not want to be named said.
Earlier this month, one person died while another escaped with injuries following the collapse of a perimeter wall at a construction site in Ruaka.
Another four-storey building collapsed in Kisii town earlier this month as it was undergoing construction.
Eight people died, while 44 others were admitted for treatment at the Kisii Referral Hospital.
Meanwhile, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero on Friday launched a new system to ensure safe buildings.
The new Sh35 million Electronic Development Permit Management System (e-DPMS) has been billed as one to reduce cases of building collapse.
He indicated that the application automates the pre-approval review procedures for processing physical planning proposals, architectural building proposals and engineering designs.