Nairobi News


Tenants ordered to vacate sinking building in Kiambu

Tenants occupying a four-storey building in Thindigua village, Kiambu town were on Thursday ordered to vacate after one of the buildings started sinking.

Kiambu governor Kimani Wamatangi ordered the evacuation and sent his Department of Lands, Housing and Physical Planning to the scene to oversee the evacuation of the tenants.

The rental houses which were built and completed in 2014 started to develop multiple cracks after the recent downpour and the pillars supporting one of the houses started to cave in.

The cracks which were visible were widespread, from the walls, windowpanes, slabs, and floors.

“Following a preliminary investigation that linked the cracks to a foundation failure, the county structural engineers declared the building as unsafe for occupation,” said Governor Wamatangi.

County officials, led by County Executive Committee Member Salome Muthoni said they received a call that a building was sinking and mobilised a multisectoral team to go and assess the situation.

“We involved a security team, the National Construction Authority and a team from the county government after we received a call that there was a building sinking in Thindigua village,” she said.

Muthoni said they were told the building started showing signs of sinking about one and a half weeks ago. They had a session with the developer who was cooperative and the engineer who worked the construction of the houses.

She said they discovered that the building started showing signs of sinking about two weeks ago and they had a session with the developer who was cooperative.

“The Kiambu government has the approvals for the development which has been in existence for the last 10 years. There are 40 units with occupants,” Muthoni said.

She said together with the developer and security team, they decided that tenants should vacate immediately to avert a disaster.

Last year, a five-storey building collapsed in Ruiru, Kiambu County, a few hours after Governor Wamatangi ordered the evacuation of over 100 tenants before the collapse.

No tenants were inside the facility that local authorities had condemned citing poor workmanship and accusing the developer of not seeking approval before embarking on the project.

The ill-fated building was located near Ruiru Police Station.

Kiambu county is not new to houses collapsing due to poor workmanship and developers not seeking approvals from relevant authorities.

In all the reported cases of building collapsing and claiming lives, the developers argue that getting rightful approval from the county is challenging because of deliberate hitches for kickbacks prompting them to embark on construction without requisite approvals.

In 2021, a nine-storey building that was under construction in Ruiru, near Tatu City collapsed, luckily no worker was on site as they had taken a day off.

On August 31 of the same year, another five-storey building that was under construction in Gachie, collapsed, killing five people.

In 2020, another building in Kinoo which was being worked on the sixth floor partially caved in. No deaths were reported.