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Flattening of condemned houses in Nairobi set to start

The demolition of condemned houses identified by the Public Works department is to begin on Friday.

Nine buildings, out of the total 226, are to be demolished.

The areas targeted include Umoja, Dagoretti, Zimmerman, Marurui, Hazina, South B, Huruma, Roysambu, Githurai, and Kahawa West estates. Most of the buildings are in Huruma estate where a flat collapsed last week.

Among the affected are 19 houses in Hazina, that were developed by the National Social Security Fund.

UNSAFE GROUNDS

The buildings, according to Public Works Principal Secretary Paul Mwangi, had either been built on unsafe grounds, for instance located too near rivers, built with poor quality materials or not approved by the construction authority.

“We have marked the buildings that we will demolish in succession starting tomorrow (Friday) and we already issued notices of vacation to the tenants,” Mr Mwangi said.

The buildings would be demolished regardless of whether the owners moved to court, he said.

On Wednesday, Mr Mwangi said a total of 70 buildings in Huruma alone were unfit for occupation and had to be demolished as they were capable of collapsing and killing occupants.

Mr Mwangi, who was speaking at the site of the building that collapsed in Huruma, said two of the targeted buildings were in Mathare and a five-storey flat in Hamza.

The houses were identified following inspection by experts, last year, with findings emerging that the foundations of some buildings were not done as per the standard.

POOR QUALITY

In others, the walls below ground, commonly referred to as the substructure, were lying on hard-core instead of reinforced concrete strip footings, implying that the technical specifications were not adhered to.

Others had poor quality concrete where specifications for good mix were not followed while some houses did not have quality reinforcement bars.

The demolition plan will be done by a joint team from the Lands ministry, Nairobi County, the National Construction Authority, the Office of the President and other professional bodies.