Kenya fears more ca­su­al­ties in on­go­ing rain

CityPress - - News -

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

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