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Nakuru County stops building plans due to fault lines

By Julius Chepkwony | June 5th 2020

A section of John Momanyi Road in Nakuru Town cut off due to a fault line. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Nakuru County Government yesterday put a halt to all development plans in areas shown to have major weak fault lines. 

Some areas of Nakuru Town West, including Shabab, Teamsales, Total roundabout and Pyrethrum Estates were under survey by a team of experts from Kenya Electricity Generating Company and Geothermal Development Company.

A geophysics report handed over to the county government yesterday indicated that preliminary results show major weak zones are found in the area.

Geo-technical report

Governor Lee Kinyanjui, after receiving the report, called for a freeze to any development plans until a detailed report is provided.

“We wish to freeze any development plans in the areas from Team Sales all the way to Total roundabout and towards Shabab. As a county we will not approve any plan until we have a detailed report that will allow us assess the areas,” said the governor.

Kinyanjui said there is need to conduct more research in areas that have shown weakness to find the extent of the problem and implications on the existing infrastructure. The survey will be extended to other parts of the town for purposes of zoning, he added.

Anyone seeking approval of a new building in Nakuru will have to provide a Geo-technical report which has a detailed structure of the earth’s profile.

The engineering department has also been tasked to come up with standards to ensure any building coming up has high safety specifications. 

Weak zones

KenGen project managers undertook to carry out a study on the extent of the fault lines after one of the roads was cut sparking fears among residents of Koinange, Shabab and Kaptembwo Estates. The study was aimed at investigating the nature of soil strata around collapsed zones, determining the depth and thickness of various soil strata, locating possible weak zones and determining cause and possible remedial measures.

The report indicated that general alignment of the weak zones showed presence of a major North-South fault. The weak zones as per the report findings, enlarge southwards posing high risk to infrastructure around the area.

“Infrastructure built around weak zones is at high risk especially during wet seasons/lubrication of faults and enlargement of subsurface flow channels,” read the report.

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