A two-storey building under construction has collapsed in Mamboleo, Kisumu county. As at 5:47pm, three bodies have been retrieved from the collapsed building.
At least seven people have been rescued and taken to hospital. Several others were still trapped under the rubble.
Search and rescue operations are ongoing.
The National Construction Authority (NCA) has told The Standard that the collapsed building was inspected twice and activities at the site stopped in May 2021 over safety concerns. NCA however claims that the owner continued with construction behind their back and did not have approval.
Joseph Okeyo, a survivor, has told The Standard that the incident happened in a flash. “We did not anticipate what happened. We just heard a cracking sound and then the building collapsed,” he said.
Okeyo went on, “We were having lunch on site and I had just left her (food vendor) serving my colleagues before the incident happened.”
By 2pm an excavator was yet to arrive at the scene as firefighters and other rescue workers struggled to cut through the rubble.
Moments after the building collapsed, residents pulled a mother and a child who were crying from the building.
A few meters from where the building collapsed, several construction workers who escaped death by a whisker were still in shock. They were working on one side of the building that was left with large cracks following the collapse.
The incident comes as surveyors have raised an alarm over substandard houses being constructed in Nairobi.
A five-storey residential building in Kinoo, Kiambu County, was on September 6 brought down following orders from the county government and the NCA. The building was safely demolished under the supervision of engineers from NCA and officers from the county government.
NCA engineers inspected the site on September 3 and issued a stop order to the developer due to non-compliance. The authority, in a statement, said the building developed cracks and started crumbling due to foundation subsidence.
According to the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya (IQSK), the developers sought the services of unlicensed persons to cut construction costs.
IQSK urged developers to avoid shortcuts when building houses to avert losses from collapsed or demolished buildings.
“The leaning five-story structure in Kinoo might have been averted if thorough compliance had been observed,” said IQSK president James Munene. He urged professionals to carry out their duties diligently.
Munene said all practitioners and respective authorities know why our buildings are collapsing.
“Equally, we all know what is at stake are human lives and loss of wealth. We need to get our act together,” he said.
According to IQSK Vice President Jenifer Musyimi, the earliest documented case of building collapse in Kenya was in 1990, where a multi-storeyed building in Dagoretti collapsed, killing one and injuring others.
She said since then, over 200 people have lost their lives and thousands injured in similar circumstances.
Only 2,000 Guests For Mashujaa Day Fete Due To Covid-19 Threat, Says Kibicho
Only 2,000 guests will be allowed to attend this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20 at the Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea, Kirinyaga County.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the number has been reduced from 15,000 to 2,000 due to Covid-19 threat.
Speaking at General Kassam Stadium in Kianyaga in Gichugu Constituency during a leaders’ meeting, Kibicho said President Uhuru Kenyatta will be the guest of honour during the celebration to be attended by other heads of state and dignitaries.
On September 14, Kirinyaga leaders held their first meeting at Kutus Sifa Garden and agreed to shelve their differences for the success of the fete.
“During our first meeting at Kutus, we brought together former and elected leaders and updated them on development undertaken by the national government,” Roads PS Paul Maringa said.
Kibicho said leaders will continue with meetings before and after Mashujaa Day celebrations for unity purposes.
“We will continue this meeting and inspect State development initiated by the president,” Woman Rep Purity Wangui said.
Kibicho also denied that the government is financing a businessman who is convening the peace meetings, saying that the government cannot give monies to private individuals for such endeavours.
Kenya Set To Attend 76th UN General Assembly
Kenya is set to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in October this year, where it will showcase its progress towards achieving a sustainable development goal in line with the 2030 Agenda.
Kenya’s delegation to the high level session led by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Raychelle Omamo, will focus on the Big 4 Agenda and particularly, on matters that touch on energy, food systems, climate change, global governance and oceans, progress made towards the sustainable development goals and regional peace and security.
On climate change, Amb. Omamo announced that Kenya which is known for its leadership role in addressing climate challenges increased her Nationally Determined Contributions from 30 per cent to 32 per cent and advocating for clean energy with focus on clean cooking and transformative agriculture for sustainable future.
“I am convinced that global support in terms of climate financing is paramount for the country to achieve her targets by the year 2025,” said Omamo.
The CS made the remarks while briefing Diplomatic Corps and the media on various International engagements by Kenya during its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in the month of October at a Nairobi hotel.
She pointed that Kenya’s membership in the UN Security Council of the African Union Peace and Security Council and Kenya’s Presidency of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States has illustrated the country’s expanding influence on the international stage.
Amb. Omamo disclosed that Kenya will preside over the affairs of the UN Security Council, and will use the opportunity to pursue mutually beneficial outcomes as well as advance good neighbourliness and Pan Africanist ideals on regional peace and security, peace support operations, counter terrorism and violent extremism and climate security.
The CS at the same time announced that the high level dialogue on energy scheduled for September 24 this year organised by the United Nations Secretary General will offer Kenya together with other energy global theme partners from China, the European Union, Japan, Malawi, Netherlands, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia an opportunity to host a thematic event on clean cooking.
She announced that a high level in- person ministerial briefing on the Great Lakes Region scheduled for October 20 this year at the UN Security Council Chambers in New York will seek to address sustainable solutions to the root causes and drivers of conflict.
“Countries of the Great Lake Region continue to be afflicted by many security challenges, however, in recent years, countries in Great Lakes Region have made commendable progress in addressing the root causes and drivers of conflict,” stressed the CS.
She said the progress can be attested by the peaceful transfers of power in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, the signing and implementation of peace agreements in the Central Africa Republic and South Sudan and the normalising of bilateral relations between Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
The High-Level Ministerial briefing is also expected to provide an opportunity for the Security Council to renew its commitment to the region, and to support the implementation of the priority projects aimed at promoting a shared vision of regional, peace, security and socio-economic development and strengthening cooperation in addressing the drivers of conflict and instability.
The Ministerial open debate will also share insights on investing in women peacekeepers, peace builders, and their networks to accelerate the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda to ensure sustainable peace outcomes during and post peace operation and mission transition settings.
During her remarks, the CS also thanked development partners for supporting Kenya and the entire region over the years, and in particular, this time of Covid-19 pandemic by donating Covid-19 vaccines, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is also expected to convene the second high level event for Heads of State and Government High Level debate on October 28, 2021 on cooperation between the UN and the Regional and Sub Regional Organisations with specific reference to the African Union.
Kenya’s Presidency in the 76th session which will have several events including those of Heads of States will seek beneficial alliances that reaffirm a rule based multilateral system that addresses global challenges in a manner that attracts consensus.
The country will also use the opportunity to reinforce Kenya’s multilateral credentials in the global arena.