EDITORIAL: Demolish shoddy houses – Daily Nation


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The collapse of a residential building in Nairobi is a stark reminder that despite pompous pronouncements that all shoddy buildings will be brought down, nothing of the sort has happened.

Death or serious injury still stalk tenants in the decrepit houses.

The house at Embakasi had all the signs of a disaster waiting to happen and, mercifully, most of the occupants had vacated after huge cracks were noticed.

Unfortunately, though, it went down with some of them and by last evening, five were missing.

Granted, the National Construction Authority has been auditing and has already declared uninhabitable 640 out of  the 5,000 buildings.

However, that progress has been hampered by some landlords, who have taken advantage of the court process to obtain injunctions blocking demolitions.

We condemn the county government, the concerned agencies and professionals for failing to enforce building rules.

But the public must cooperate with the authorities and avoid endangering their own lives; it is a simple act of personal safety.

Courts must also be alive to the grave dangers some of their injunctions pose.

The county government, the construction agency, police and other relevant bodies must rid the city of these deathtraps.

All the condemned buildings must be demolished and no shoddy structures should be allowed anywhere.

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