Residents of Tasia Estate in Embakasi East where a six storey building sunk on Friday and killed 10 people have called on the government and relevant stakeholders to urgently conduct a thorough audit on the soundness of buildings in the area to avert more deaths.
According to the residents, the sunken house had shown signs of weakness with cracks being seen on the ground floor.
Rhoda Kasyoka, who had moved out of the ill-fated house a month ago said that her room would shake when she walked around which forced her to move out as she feared for her life.
“We would like to call on the relevant government agencies to conduct an audit of the houses in these areas because the owners build them haphazardly and they don’t care about safety since they don’t live here,” said Kasyoka.
She added that the landlord to the fallen house was aware of the cracks and instead of taking action, he tricked people by lowering the rent which is unheard of in Nairobi.
Another resident, Ken Odero, said that the area has very poor drainage which has worsened due to the heavy rains and called on the Nairobi County Government to work on improving the drainage.
The Nairobi Regional Police Commander, Philip Ndolo on Tuesday commended the multi-agency rescue team comprising of the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), the National Disaster Management Unit and the Kenya Red Cross for bracing the adverse weather to conduct the rescue and recovery mission.
Ndolo confirmed that a total of 10 people had lost their lives in the accident with another 30 people injured while 20 were still missing.
“The heavy rains are really pulling us back but we hope to find more survivors,” explained Ndolo.
Catherine Awuonda accused the landlords of gambling with people’s lives, saying that the ill fated house had been sold from one landlord to another before it was owned by the current one.
Last year, embattled Nairobi Governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko said that an audit conducted by the Nairobi City Inspectorate Department revealed that several buildings evaluated in selected estates in Nairobi were found to be in urgent need of critical inspection.
Sonko said that investigations indicated that only 884 structures are considered safe for habitation compared to 471 houses that have been deemed unfit for occupancy and warrant critical inspection.
“About 217 buildings need to be attended to immediately and have been marked as very dangerous for tenancy, while another 688 structures need to be urgently investigated,” said the Governor.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a