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Two arrested over collapsed building in Kapsabet

Rift Valley

Members of the public assisted by fire brigade personnel try to save scores of people after a building under construction collapsed at Kapsabet town in Nandi County.[Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Two officials of a construction company have been arrested in Nandi County in connection to a collapsed building in Kapsabet town.

The company’s director and foreman, who are detained at Kapsabet Police Station, were alleged to have been overseeing the construction of the Ministry of Land's county headquarters.

Nandi County Police Commander Samson ole Kinne said the company was constructing a one-storey building that collapsed due to alleged poor workmanship, adding that the building was to be completed in June.

"They have charges to answer over the poor architectural standards on the facility," he stated.

Area County Commissioner Geoffrey Omoding said a section of the building collapsed due to a weakened gutter.

Mr Omoding, who was accompanied by Kagwa Njoroge, the county works officer, said there was poor management of the project funded by the national government.

"It's a serious case that could lead to the loss of taxpayers’ funds. It is our role to take legal action against any contractor executing the government projects at county level in a wrong way. We have seen many cases occurring due to infective architectural designs and poor workmanship across the country,” he warned.

The company commenced construction works last year under the supervision of the Ministry of Water.

Mr Njoroge said the gutter level was completed a week ago and the workers on the site removed the formation structures before attaining the recommended 28 days. 

"The mortar had not dried fully. The removal of the supporting structures exposed the structure to rains and this weakened the gutter which led it to collapse, “said Njoroge.

He claimed that the contractor was racing against time to complete it before June. 

Omoding said the building will be audited by the engineers from the National Construction Authority (NCA) to establish its suitability and safety before making corrections on the affected areas. 

"As it's clear that all national government projects should be managed at the county level, all the ongoing projects must be audited to confirm their statud. This will help to minimide the loss of public funds through shoddy works," he said.

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