Audit shows 711 houses in Huruma unsafe for human habitation

Residents were last year asked to vacate some of these buildings in Huruma Estate after a block of flats collapsed and killed several tenants.[File, Standard]

Many residents of Eastlands could literally be living under the shadow of death following revelations that most of the houses there are at a risk of collapsing.

According to a report by the city’s buildings inspectorate, 640 houses in the city are very dangerous to live in, with a high number in Huruma Estate.

“We visually identified 651 unsafe buildings in the country that require scientific testing. 640 houses are in Nairobi. So far we have tested 28 buildings,” said Moses Nyakiongora, the secretary of the Buildings Inspectorate.

According to the audit report, out of 28 buildings tested scientifically, 15 were found to be structurally unsound and nine require repairs before occupation.

Out of the 15 that are structurally unsound, six are dangerous and need urgent action.

Some 711 buildings in Huruma Estate are unsafe for human occupation, the Buildings Inspectorate in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has reported.

Mr Nyakiongora said out of the 711 houses, 388 are very dangerous to live in while 323 are unsafe

Demolition to start

“Demolition of buildings in Huruma riparian reserves was scheduled to recommence on March 15, 2017, but due to security matters, the exercise was suspended. The operation will resume in January, 2018,” he said.

He added, “The number of buildings demolished to date stands at 34 and this does not include those that came down on their own.”

Huruma is remembered for an incident last year where a six-storey building collapsed, killing at least 40 people and leaving hundreds displaced.

More estates have been implicated in the menace of sub-standard city housing and experts have called for prompt response.

Out of 358 houses inspected in Pipeline estate, 65 are very dangerous while 96 are unsafe.

In Umoja estate, 28 houses were found to be very dangerous while 118 were declared unsafe.

Very dangerous houses were also found along Thika Road (85), Baba Dogo (38), Dagoretti (16), Nairobi West (nine), South B (five) and six each in Ruiru, Mathare, and Kahawa West.

Along Thika Road, 147 houses were found to be unsafe, 65 in Baba Dogo, 25 in Dagoretti, 16 in Nairobi West, and 10 in South B.

Nyakiongora said the marked buildings should be demolished to save people from death and destruction.