City Hall calls for the demolition of stalled buildings

A collapsed building in Nairobi

Residents in Nairobi County have in the recent past witnessed several buildings that were still under the construction cave in killing people in the process

By The Weekly Vision Online

The planning department at City Hall has issued a tough demand note to some developers within the city and its environs and whose buildings have stalled for long, to bring them down for the sake of public safety. This comes in the wake of a collapsed building that was to house a three-star hotel that was still under construction in Muranga, claiming the lives of six people.

They specifically pointed at the planned Jesus Is Alive Church Glory Towers on Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi that had stalled again after excavators dug up a huge foundation ‘dam’. The place is now filled up with water. “What will happen if a motorist or pedestrians drown in the water”? an engineer asked. 

One of the tragic cases of collapsed buildings recorded was at Nairobi’s Nyamakima area in 2016, it claimed the lives of 23 people. The building had been condemned by the planning department at city hall and the courts, however, the owner “bribed” his way and finished the structure, it’s now finished and is today home to a supermarket

Residents in Nairobi County have in the recent past witnessed several buildings that were still under the construction cave in killing people in the process. One of the tragic cases of collapsed buildings recorded was at Nairobi’s Nyamakima area in 2016, it claimed the lives of 23 people. The building had been condemned by the planning department at city hall and the courts, however, the owner “bribed” his way and finished the structure, it’s now complete and is today home to a supermarket, shops and open stalls.

In Kangemi, Zimmerman, Kawangware and Satelite the story is the same and the public works and housing cabinet secretary James Macharia has warned that up to “4000” buildings could face demolition.

But building experts are questioning this argument saying marking buildings for demolition usually only provides a “golden opportunity” for city-county authorities to pick easy bribes and allow the owners of the structures to continue. This line of arguments has also been supported by the NGO council of Kenya chairman Stephen Cheboi who is warning that ‘corruption has eaten deep in the moral fabric of the country to the extent that life has become too cheap”.

He said when you see “buildings collapsing, schools flooded or bridges being washed away by heavy foods someone had slept on the job most likely because of corruption.” The Kenya Association of Engineers and its Architects counterparts have threatened to move to court over the threat to public safety posed by unfinished buildings.

Transparency International Kenya chapter has accused senior state officials in Nairobi of “criminal negligence” buttressed by corruption leading to the death of wananchi in collapsing buildings.

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