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Enforce safety rules on buildings in Kenya to avert disasters

By The Standard | August 2nd 2016

Three people are said to have died yesterday at a construction site on Brookside Drive, Westlands, Nairobi. This came after a building they were working on collapsed. Such incidents in and around Nairobi have become a common occurrence. More than eight buildings collapsed in Nairobi and Kiambu between 2006 and 2014, causing death and injury.

In May this year, a building in Nairobi’s Huruma estate collapsed, claiming 23 lives. The frequency of collapsing buildings is alarming and calls into question the competency of licencing and building inspectorate authorities within the Nairobi County government.

It is an inescapable fact that buildings have collapsed due to failure by the authorities to enforce safety standards.

The connection to corruption cannot be missed either. Early this year, Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke said over 70 per cent of buildings in Nairobi had not been approved by the county government.

Why is this so? The Nairobi County government, the Architectural Society of Kenya, the Ministry of Lands and Housing and the Kenya bureau of standards (KBS) must take their responsibilities seriously.

Kenyans cannot continue losing their lives because somebody paid to ensure their safety is either compromised or is simply sleeping on the job.

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