by Ronald Njoroge
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is fast
tracking the enactment of a law that aims to improve the safety
of buildings, an official said on Wednesday.
of building collapses have hit Kenya’s capital Nairobi in recent
years, and Moses Nyakiongora, Secretary of the National
Buildings Inspectorate (NBI), said the law will ensure stricter
enforcement of building codes.
"The law is necessary because an audit of buildings in the
country has revealed that up to 50 percent are not completely
safe for human occupation," Nyakiongora told a media briefing.
The proposed regulation will provide for inspections every
five years for all occupied buildings that have more than three
The envisaged regulations will also empower all professional
bodies in the construction sector to enforce ethics in the
A multi-sectoral committee on unsafe structures is currently
conducting a nationwide campaign to sensitize the public on the
danger of unsafe buildings.
Nyakiongora said that the problem of unsafe buildings is
increasing due to the current housing shortage.
"The demand for housing is causing property developers to
take shortcuts in constructing houses," he said.
"Kenya is lucky it is not on an earthquake zone. Our research
shows that if an earthquake with a magnitude greater than six on
the Richter scale were to strike Nairobi, it would cause massive
damage," he said.
Nyakiongora noted that all unsafe buildings will be
demolished if they can’t be rehabilitated.
In June, at least two people were killed after a condemned
seven-storey residential building collapsed in Nairobi.