Why Nairobi is leading in poorly designed houses

9 storey building caves in in Ruiru

Kenya has witnessed a growing number of unapproved buildings in the recent past, with stakeholders worrying over the growing number of quacks in the construction sector.

This has seen the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) call on experts in the industry to promote professionalism in the built environment by aggressively marketing themselves.

 In August last year, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) raised concerns over increasing and unapproved constructions going on in the city.

According to  NMS, nearly 50 percent of construction works in Nairobi are unapproved and illegal, putting the lives of millions of Kenyans at risk.

 “A developer must confirm that they own the site by presenting a title deed from the lands commission to get building designs approved,” said Christopher Khaemba, Nairobi County Secretary for Urban Planning.

Statistics show up to 80 percent of building projects across the country are undertaken without involving relevant consultants, and up to 80% of architects’ work goes unpaid when it is not properly packaged.

“If a building is of questionable structural integrity, we have two things to do. First, if it is salvageable, if it can be reinforced or remedied, it can be done. If it is completely unsalvageable like the ones where engineers have confirmed that it is completely unsafe and there is nothing you can do to make it safer …necessary orders have been given to the owner to bring it down,” said Secretary of the Building Inspectorate, Moses Nyakiongora.

In September last year, at least seven people nursed injuries after a two-story building collapsed while under construction in Mamboleo, Kisumu.

The large cracks on the building are suspected to be the course of collapse.

Police are yet to release a statement on the casualties.

Still, in September last year, a five-story residential building under construction collapsed in Kinoo. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Investigations on the unfortunate Kinoo incident revealed that the owner of the building had allegedly added more floors without approval from relevant agencies.

Barely a week after the Kinoo incident, three workers died at a construction site in Gachie, Kiambu County after a building they were working on collapsed.

This has seen the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) call on experts in the industry to promote professionalism in the built environment by aggressively marketing themselves.

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