More than 10 people have been killed in recent construction site accidents that have left a blot on the industry. Many more construction workers and even passersby have been injured in incidents that would most likely never have occurred had building rules and guidelines been enforced.
The increasing incidence of deaths and injuries is an indictment of the regulators, contractors, and building owners.
Some of these crooked people have no scruples about circumventing building regulations to cut costs. These greedy schemes end up costing lives. They also result in wanton wastage of resources that could have been put to good use.
The latest is the collapse of a two-storey building under construction in Kisumu Town on Monday, in which three people died. This follows several other incidents in Nairobi and Kiambu counties, which claimed more lives in a span of two weeks.
It has emerged that flaws had been flagged on the Kisumu building site but construction continued. It is good to hear that the owner of the building has been arrested. But it would have been better to prevent the deaths. Such arrests have previously led to arraignment but the culprits often got off lightly.
A National Construction Authority (NCA) official has confirmed that the building’s owner was in August last year ordered to stop construction for non-adherence to building regulations. It is unforgivable of him to express shock that works had resumed. His pledge to restart investigations sounds like an attempt at closing the stable after the horse has bolted.
People who would probably be alive today if the NCC had ensured that construction was stopped to enforce the building regulations have died. It is criminal to expose people to such a grave risk.