The Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya (IQSK) has called on developers to work with certified professionals to prevents buildings from collapsing.
In a statement sent to newsrooms, IQSK said the incident where we had the leaning five storey building in Kinoo and the one that collapsed in Gachie could have been avoided had strict compliance been followed.
“Professionals are asked to carry out their duties diligently and in a manner that is not negligent. Authorities are also urged to continue clamping down on quacks and rogue practitioners. These measures will certainly help mitigate the problems with building failure,” said IQSK President James Munene Gitonga in the statement.
Munene said all practitioners, at least those that are not quacks, and respective authorities, have a good idea of why our buildings are collapsing.
“Equally, all of us know what is at stake: human lives, 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 crashed, killing one and injuring others.
She said since then, as a direct consequence of buildings’ collapse, over 200 people have lost their lives and thousands have been injured.
“The economy is estimated to have lost over Ksh. 2.4 billion worth of investments,” she said.
IQSK Secretery General Wilson Kipkoech said the National Building Inspectorate (NBI) carried out an audit in 2018.
Of the 14,895 buildings they looked at, 723 were classified as very dangerous, 10,791 as unsafe, 1,217 as fair and only 2,194 as safe.
“Only about 15% of buildings in the audit were safe! Further, a 2020 report released by the National Construction Authority (NCA) pointed out that for every 100 buildings in Kenya, 35 are likely to fail. 35% of Kenyan buildings are likely to fail! These are shocking statistics,” Kipkoech said.
IQSK said it supports the current efforts being undertaken by the National Construction Authority, the National Building Inspectorate, and the County Governments on auditing all the buildings in the country to establish whether they are fit for human habitation.
The statement said that in 2018, a study was commissioned by the NCA.
The objective of the study was to investigate failure and collapse of buildings in Kenya.
The study established that the main causes of building failures are poor workmanship, use of substandard materials, poor structural design, inadequate maintenance, and non-compliance to statutory requirements.
“At the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, we would like to empathize with all those who might have been affected by these incidences: those bereaved of their loved ones, those who have suffered injuries, those that have been rendered homeless and those who have suffered loss of property,” the IQSK president said.