Two people have been confirmed dead after a building collapsed in Kisii this morning. The 5-storey building was still under construction in informal Mwembe Estate. Red Cross confirmed that 6 injured construction workers have been rescued and taken to hospital.
Boda boda riders and residents are actively assisting in rescue efforts in a bid to save several more who are said to be trapped inside the debris.
Eye witnesses state that so far 15 people have been pulled from the rubble. It is not yet clear whether the deceased were construction worker or passersby.
Kisii town has been experiencing a spurt of growth that easily puts it among the fastest growing towns in Kenya. Unfortunately, most upcoming constructions in the town are not in strict conformity with housing rules.
Mwembe Estate, along the Kisii-Kilgoris highway, is one of the most populous areas in the town, owing to low-cost housing and close proximity to Kisii University.
Earlier this year, an 8-storey building in the collapsed near the town’s CBD. Investigations into the incident showed that the contractor used substandard material.
It was also stated that the building rose past the legally prescribed level. The owner of the building, one Jeremiah Matoke, was briefly taken into police custody but was released almost immediately after.
The cost of housing in the town keeps going up, owing to high population and limited land. Most entrepreneurs in the industrious region have taken advantage of this opportunity and rushed to erect apartments without adherence to national housing rules and regulations.