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Kenya National Inspectorate to improve building Safety Laws

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.

A number 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 floors.

The envisaged regulations will also empower all professional bodies in the construction sector to enforce ethics in the industry.

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.




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