Home > Counties > County government set to clamp down substandard buildings 

County government set to clamp down substandard buildings 

The Lamu County Government is set to crack down on substandard buildings, following concerns raised by senior public works officials, over an increase in unauthorized construction works across Amu Island.

These concern come in the wake of collapse of six houses within Lamu Island’s Satellite area, in which at least four people were injured in November last year.

Speaking to the media over the issue, Lands, Roads, Infrastructure, Public Works, Water and Natural Resources, County Executive Committee Member (CEC), Tashrifa Bakari Mohammed, stated that the crackdown is aimed at clamping down on unscrupulous construction contractors who build without the requisite permits.

“Despite the County Government and the National Government through the National Construction Authority, issuing several notices to some buildings across Amu Island where construction works are underway, a few of them seem not to be keen to adhere to the regulations put in place,” she stated.

The CEC further decried the flagrant construction works on some balconies that were even going on right underneath electrical lines, which she added presented a hazardous living situation for the occupants of those homes once construction works are completed.

“The County Government will from next month carry out a comprehensive audit of all the construction works being undertaken across Lamu, to ensure that no substandard buildings come up or are occupied,” Tashrifa said.

The CEC further said the crackdown would enable the County Government to enhance its Urban Planning Policy within the Lamu Municipality area, which she said the current administration was keen to address.

“Some of the buildings are being reinforced from their foundations and two storey, or sometimes even three storey buildings, built on top of these poor foundations,  is presenting a cause for concern, especially if these houses are then put up for sale to unsuspecting buyers,” Senior County Public Works Officer, Engineer James Githui said.

He further reiterated that those found liable of flouting building regulations, face heavy fines for building substandard buildings.

Engineer Githui observed that several Lamu residents are living in substandard houses, some of which look up to standard, but are subpar, with the buildings rife with poor piping, electrical connectivity and suspect stairway heights.

Public works officials have also noted that some of the new residences being built are not attached to any architectural plans, with the Lamu Municipality sometimes being left out of the approval process, despite developers getting on site.

Chief Officer-In-Charge of Municipality and Urban Development, Alex Jimbi, in his remarks stated that the County Government through its municipality, should issue developers with completion and occupation certificates, showing the building is fit for habitation.

He further stated that it is important for homeowners within Lamu Old town, to rehabilitate their buildings, some of which are dilapidated and in dire need of major repairs.

“There are cases where some Old town houses have started collapsing, with one example where a habited house has partly hanging walls which pose danger to the entire neighborhoods,” Jimbi said.

He further stated that the measures set to be put in place by the County Government, aim to regulate the construction sector in Lamu, by carrying out vetting of builders and developers accredited by NCA, as being qualified to build houses properly.

By Amenya Ochieng

Leave a Reply