Kenya’s authorities tore down a badly built residential block in a poor Nairobi district on Tuesday, one of more than 250 shoddy buildings that could now face demolition after a six-story structure collapsed this month killing 51 people.
The Kenyan authorities have identified 258 buildings considered structurally at risk and which could be pulled down, leaving thousands of people to find new homes in a city already struggling to keep pace with its growing population.
Kenyan authorities are stepping up evictions of poorly built buildings after a six-story block in Huruma district, which lies next to Mathare, collapsed on April 29 after days of rain.
Officials said it had been condemned before it crumbled and said it was not clear why it had not been pulled down.
The death toll of 51 people could have been more if some residents had not seen cracks and fled shortly before it fell.
“For all those buildings that will be found to be defective, the owners will be required to demolish them,” Land, Housing and Urban Development Minister Jacob Kaimenyi said in a May 5 statement. If owners failed to comply, the government would carry out the demolition and bill them, he added.
Yet knocking down dangerous buildings also adds to the housing shortage in Nairobi, which is estimated to have a population of more than 4 million, almost double 15 years ago.