The proposed joint demolition exercise of unsafe buildings and structures by the National Building Inspectorate (NBI) commenced on Wednesday, 14th March, 2018 in the Imara Daima area.
Since then, further demolitions have taken place in Sinai and Zimmerman on 15th March and 21st -23rd March, 2018 respectively. Heavy rainfall experienced across the country in the last two weeks caused delays in completion of the exercise.
NBI is a multi-sectoral agency formed through a presidential directive to inspect already occupied buildings in order to ensure that they do not pose a danger to residents. The National Construction Authority is a member of NBI, as are the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) and the National Police Service (NPS), Kenya Power, Kenya Railways and Kenya Pipeline Company.
Illegal structures set up under high voltage power lines, adjacent to the pipeline and along railway lines were part of the demolitions, and over 5,000 of them were brought down.
Residents of the demolished sites had previously been notified of the intended demolition. Kenya Railways has provided alternative housing through a World Bank funded project in order to re-settle those affected by the demolitions.
The recent demolitions are part of an ongoing exercise that commenced in 2017, shortly after the formation of NBI. . An audit recently conducted by the Inspectorate revealed that half of the 2,260 buildings evaluated in selected estates in Nairobi were in utmost need of inspection, 6,108 buildings have been audited across the country with 654 of them requiring immediate testing and 2,028 classified as unsafe for habitation. The summary of the audit is as below:
Last year, NBI demolished 34 buildings after tests conducted concluded they were a danger to human life. 13 buildings were earmarked for demolition at the beginning of this year , of which two have already been brought down. The remaining ones include 2 in Zimmerman, 5 in Huruma, 1 in Mathare, in Umoja and I in Kariobangi. More demolitions are set to be scheduled as the test results of audited buildings continue to trickle in.
National Building Inspectorate agency has warned of more demolitions of sub-standard structures in the coming weeks.
The agency’s chairman Moses Nyakiongora said the demolitions which have already begun in Nairobi will go on undeterred until all the “death traps” in the country are brought down.
This, Mr Nyakiongora said, is part of the efforts to put an end to the conduct where unscrupulous landlords use unlicensed engineers to put up sub-standard buildings that collapse killings people.
At least 400 substandard buildings across Nairobi are set for demolition. Already a few have been brought down in the last week alone.
Mr Nyakiongora said the agency is tired of seeing innocent Kenyans dying in such sub-standard structures.
He said any buildings that fail to meet the recommended quality and structural safety standards are on the agency’s radar and will come down in due course.
“We have already started from Nairobi and those houses are being knocked down and it will be the same everywhere,” warned Mr Nyakiongora.
He was speaking at Mobamba High School, Masaba South Sub-County in Kisii on Sunday during a prize giving ceremony.
The function was also attended by Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu and Kisii County Commissioner Godfrey Kigochi.
Mr Nyakiongora said inspections of schools with storied buildings will also be done to ensure safety of structures used by the learners.
“We have already set up a team to do this. Any classes found to be sub-standard will be also knocked down,” he warned.
The lack of professionalism and coordination in the industry leading to building failure and consequently outcomes as tragic as death, injury and loss of property are some of the core reasons that led to the establishment of the Authority under the NCA Act, 2011.