The National Building Inspectorate(NBI) has disclosed that approximately 1,000 buildings in almost half of the country are unfit for occupation due to safety concerns.
According to NBI Secretary Samuel Charagu, the inspectorate carried out inspections in 26 counties and determined that approximately 919 buildings, which account for around five percent, pose a significant risk to human habitation due to safety concerns.
Charagu was speaking at the site where a four-storey building collapsed in Murang’a town Tuesday evening killing five construction workers.
The NBI Secretary said the inspectorate has thus far assessed the structural integrity of 19,606 buildings across the country.
“Our role is to conduct a comprehensive audit of all buildings and as I have told Governor Irungu Kang’ata, we will be coming to Murang’a to establish that occupied buildings are safe,” he said.
He noted that a section of the audited buildings are either unsafe or fair meaning they can be repaired to the required standards.
Charagu said inspections are carried out by a multi-agency team that ensures buildings found to be dangerous are evacuated.
“Once we find a building that should not be occupied, we alert the police and the National Disaster Management Unit to have their occupants removed. We did that in Ruiru and a few weeks ago in Mombasa.”
The CEO of the National Construction Authority, Eng Maurice Akech, confirmed that investigations have been initiated to determine the cause of the building collapse in Murang’a.
Akech said preliminary investigations indicate that the building was on its final floor, the fourth floor, at the time of the incident.
Public Works Principal Secretary Joel Arumonyang added hthat once investigations into the building are concluded, their findings will inform the next course of action.
PS Arumonyang praised the Disaster Response Unit that helped recover the bodies of the victims and the county government and local leaders for their support.
As a strategy to seal loopholes in the construction sector, the PS noted that the Building Control Bill has been tabled in the Senate to right the wrongs that his department has noted regarding adherence to regulations.
“We are committed to ensure people live in a safe environment through NBI and ensure vigilance on constructions through NCA as we call on professionals to do their best in terms of supervision,” the PS said.