BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,3RD SEPT,2021-A five-storey residential building under construction collapsed in Kinoo on Friday.
No one was injured.
According to the residents, trouble started on Thursday night when the caretaker noticed cracks and alerted the owner.
The owner is said to have arrived at around 10pm then left shortly after.
The owner returned to the scene in the morning after the building collapsed, but left shortly after without speaking to anyone.
Tenants in nearby houses vacated.
One of the tenants, who sought anonymity, told the Star she was hopeless and in a dilemma after leaving her belongings in her house.
“We are all in panic as we don’t know what will happen next. As much as we need to get our belongings from the house, it is risky as the building might fall anytime,” she said.
Masons at the site said they had noticed structural problems and informed the owner but no action was taken.
They said they noticed a crack on one of the columns on Thursday, prompting them to stop construction.
George Omlati, a mason, said, “After doing plaster work, we told him that the building had slanted towards one side but he told us we are fundis and we should do our work.”
“It was not until piping at the corner burst that he told us to halt construction.”
Area MCA Samuel Kimani said the owner had been given notice, prohibiting him from adding another floor to the building.
“He was to stick to the original master plan he had presented to the county government,” he added.
The legislator said the owner should be held accountable for the disaster, noting that the county government approved the plan with fewer floors.
On Friday, the building tilted towards one side before it crumbled as locals gathered to witness the incident.
Police arrived there minutes later and cordoned off the site as they waited for experts.
Officials from the National Construction Authority said the structure will have to be brought down and announced investigations will commence immediately to establish if the law was followed during the construction.
Last week, nine people were killed in Hurlingham, Nairobi, when a crane they were handling crumbled from a 14-floor proposed student accommodation.
One was injured.
Days later, three other construction workers were killed when a house they were constructing collapsed in Gachie area, Kiambu county.
More than 10 others were injured in the incident.
Rescuers took three days to clear the site and collected three bodies.
Nairobi and Kiambu among other regions are experiencing a construction boom with most buildings going more than six floors.
There are fears some of these structures are being constructed without proper supervision.