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City officials pull down unsafe buildings in Kahawa West

Nairobi County officials have enforced an order by the National Contraction Authority (NCA) to demolish unsafe buildings in Kahawa West, Kongo estate.

In an operation marked by heightened security, officials bulldozed down two blocks of flats.

The tenants said they were caught unawares.

At least seven tenants who had been given notice to leave last week were still occupying the houses that had been declared dangerous.

A female tenant who refused to give her name for fear of causing her family anxiety said she was at the hospital with her eight-month old baby when she was told of the ongoing demolitions.

NO IDEA

“The owner of the building had told us that he had solved the matter with county government officials, we had no idea that they were coming today,” she said.

The three-storey building had cracks and had been declared inhabitable by NCA.

Another five- storey building, which has been vacated, had leaned on an adjacent one and had cracked its walls.

National and county government officials now say that owners of buildings with over five floors but with no lift service will be forced to demolish the extra floors or install the service.

Owners of houses with minor defects have been given a month to fix problems like ventilation and lighting.

Owners of building classified under high-risk have been given two months to demolish them.