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Ensure buildings are safe

Wednesday August 03 2016
By EDITORIAL

Not far away from the site at Huruma in Nairobi, where nearly 50 people perished early in the year, when a poorly constructed six-storey building collapsed, another tragedy occurred on Monday, but luckily enough, there were no casualties.

A five-storey building came down at Kariobangi South, an area that has become synonymous with hurriedly built high-rise deathtraps.

It is perhaps by the grace of God that the tenants had been evacuated after someone raised the alarm.

But as often happens, whenever such a tragedy occurs, the authorities will go into overdrive, promising an audit of buildings to ascertain their safety.

The Eastlands is enjoying a construction boom, but many of the owners and contractors are notorious for cutting corners, putting tenants in grave danger.

In January, the audit did begin, with a few buildings knocked down, but the process was later bogged down by complaints, and litigation, and not surprisingly, even talk of the use of fake clearance certificates to stop demolitions.

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The solution lies in full compliance with the regulations after strictly vetting and clearing building plans.

The onus is not only on the county, but also on the National Construction Authority (NCA) to promote building safety.

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