Nairobi Governor Initiates Safety Audit for Recent Building Constructions

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has taken decisive action in response to growing concerns within the city’s Built Environment sector. In a move aimed at ensuring structural integrity and public safety, Sakaja has ordered a comprehensive audit of all buildings constructed in the past two years.

The directive, outlined in new guidelines obtained by the, comes in the wake of mounting feedback from stakeholders regarding potential safety risks associated with recent construction projects. Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, the governor has temporarily suspended the issuance of new building plan approvals and excavation activities at ongoing construction sites.

“We have also suspended undertaking of Excavations at Construction Sites as this would compromise the structural integrity and safety of adjourning buildings due to the ongoing heavy rains,” Sakaja directed.

The audit, slated to commence on May 13, aims to assess the compliance of recent constructions with established regulations and standards. It will also scrutinize approved building plans that have yet to commence construction. The governor has mandated a multi-agency committee to oversee the audit process, allotting between 30 to 60 days for completion and submission of a comprehensive report for implementation.

Sakaja has emphasized the inclusivity of the audit process, urging the participation of all relevant stakeholders. He called upon technical representatives from professional and regulatory bodies to nominate their representatives to the committee by May 10.

“The purpose of this letter therefore is to bring to your attention this further directive and to request you to forward the names of two professionals from your organisation to be part of the task force being constituted by the county,” read the directive.

This move comes amidst previous opposition from various professional and resident groups in Nairobi. In March, over 26 associations voiced their concerns regarding Sakaja’s proposal to permit tall buildings in different parts of the city. Citing potential legal violations and environmental repercussions, these groups expressed their intent to seek legal recourse if the county proceeded with the plan, particularly in areas like Kilimani and Kileleshwa.

“The governor should prioritise the expansion of critical infrastructure including sewerage, water, solid waste management, public transport, schools, health amenities, open grace spaces, fire and emergency services,” remarked Florence Nyole, the president of the Architectural Association of Kenya.

Teddy Obiero, chairperson of the Alliance of Nairobi Metropolitan Residents Association, highlighted existing issues such as water shortages and urged authorities to address these before embarking on further development.

The Kenya Alliance of Residents Association underscored the importance of developing and implementing Local Physical Development Plans at all levels, stressing the need for comprehensive urban planning strategies.

As Nairobi grapples with rapid urbanization and infrastructure challenges, Governor Sakaja’s directive signals a proactive approach towards ensuring the safety and sustainability of the city’s built environment.


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