Act now on rogue contractors and engineers to stop building deaths
Posted Tuesday, June 12 2012 at 19:37
News about collapse of buildings have been hitting the headlines every so often. Some of the buildings are still under construction while others are fully built and occupied by tenants.
Those buildings are definitely owned by wealthy Kenyans who have acquired permits to build the apartments.
Their building plans have been inspected by presumably tutored planners and the works inspected by engineers who approved the entire process and gave the nod that the structures were safe for human habitation.
How then do we hear news of collapsed buildings every other month? Do these people ever have their conscience pricked by news, such as the one in Monday’s Nation about the couple who died?
News that “a house has collapsed, five confirmed dead, several injured, and the owner has disappeared into thin air” is now the order of the day.
Very soon thereafter, announcements are made to the effect that investigations are on. After that, nothing is heard in most cases.
Do these people who disappear after their building collapse ever come back? My view is that they do come back, but no one bothers about them because those who perished in the tragedy were common citizens who are masons or tenants.
Often, the bereaved might not have the money to push for justice in courts. The victims, therefore, go uncompensated. Yet just like other Kenyans, those masons have families to feed.
Their children need school fees and all that. After the death of their energetic fathers, the children are left leading a miserable life without hope.
The full force of the law should be applied towards the owners of collapsing buildings and their accomplices in the public service, especially now that we are cleaning up the judiciary.
Those masons are just like other citizens who go out to fend for their families.My appeal is to the government and all those concerned with house building to make sure that the buildings meet the required standards.
The engineers should be qualified, and not cut corners with building materials to make savings at the expense of human lives. And lastly full law must be applied in case a building collapses.
DAVID MWAURA, Maseno
Collapsing buildings have become a major killer. The government should end empty promises and take action against dubious contractors after quick money without minding public safety.
CHARLES NZIOKA, Nairobi