Demolition spree to go on with 651 buildings targeted

Java restaurant in Kileleshwa, Nairobi flattened on August 6, 2018.
About 651 buildings will be demolished in the country in the coming days, according to a Government audit.

The audit conducted by the National Construction Authority (NCA), found 800 out of 5,000 buildings to be unsafe.

Of the 800, 149 were found to have partly complied with NCA approval processes, and only needed some structural adjustments to avoid demolition.

But the remaining 651 were found to have completely ignored the approval processes, and were declared unsafe.

Already, Nairobi county government has witnessed the demolition of several multi-billion buildings with the developers being accused of putting up structures on riparian land.

The developers criticised the Government’s basis for the demolitions, saying they met all the regulatory approvals when they embarked on the construction.

According to NCA Executive Director Morris Aketch, the buildings being demolished were identified two years ago, when the audit ended.

“You will find that out of 10 buildings that we surveyed in a county like Nairobi, four were declared unsafe,” said Mr Aketch yesterday.

Aketch explained that the current demolitions were being carried out by several Government agencies; NCA, the National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (Nema), The Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb), the Buildings Inspectorate and security agencies.

“Buildings on riparian land are being identified by Nema as well as Wasreb. We are checking those with weak construction approvals as we enforce the demolition order,” said Aketch.

Aketch conceded that it was difficult to point out exactly who was to blame for the licensing of building that are being demolished.

“We cannot ignore the issue of corruption. We can also not ignore a situation where developers after their buildingsare marked for demolition remove the mark when the regulators leave, and proceed with construction,” said Aketch.

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Demolition of buildings