Kenya fears more casualties in ongoing rain
Seven people were killed and at least 121 others injured when a six-storey residential block collapsed as heavy rains lashed the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Friday night.
By yesterday morning, it was unknown how many people were still trapped in the debris.
The Kenya Red Cross said a search team managed to pull three children and an adult from the rubble of the building in the low-income Huruma area on Saturday.
Kenya is in the midst of its April-May rainy season, with a particularly heavy cloudburst having flooded Nairobi and bringing traffic to a standstill this week.
Nairobi’s deputy governor, Jonathan Mueke, told Al Jazeera that he had called for an investigation into the tragedy.
“The building went down during the heavy rains, but we still want to establish if all the procedures were followed when it was constructed,” he said.
Area legislator Stephen Kariuki told Al Jazeera that this was the second building to collapse in a year. He blamed the Kenyan government for failing to follow through with the demolitions of buildings identified as unfit for human habitation.
Nairobi has seen a building boom over the past few years, but there are questions about the quality of materials used and the speed of construction.
The majority of the city’s estimated 4 million people live in low-income areas or slums.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last year ordered an audit of all the country’s buildings to see if they were safe, Al Jazeera reported.
Apparently, the report found that 58% of buildings in the capital were unfit to live in.
Meanwhile, more rain is forecast over the next few days.
– Staff reporter