Nairobi building collapse leads to demolitions

Nairobi structures to be demolished after deaths of 23 people in building collapse.

Construction inspectors have condemned some 226 substandard buildings in Nairobi following the deaths of at least 23 people whose residence collapsed in the capital at the end of April.

The buildings, which fail Kenyan construction norms, are to be demolished as part of a crackdown ordered by the governor of Nairobi, Evans Kidero.

Police have arrested the owner of the six-storey residential building, in the northeast Huruma district of Nairobi, which came down amid heavy rains. The tower block had been due for demolition, and the owner is accused of not having the required occupancy permit to rent out the building's 119 rooms.

So far about 135 people have been freed from the collapsed building, according to local media, including a six-month-old baby girl who was pulled alive from the rubble, on 3 May, four days after the collapse. However dozens of people remain trapped inside the building.

Rescue attempts, described as “chaotic” by The Red Cross, have been hampered by the bad weather and the neighbourhood's narrow streets.

Nairobi construction authorities have blamed rogue developers and unlicensed engineers for the recent spate of building collapses in the city.