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Developers Of High-rise Buildings May Be Barred From Using The Dark ‘Mai Mahiu’ Sand.

The debris of the building that collapsed in Kimbo area of Juja Sub-County on Thursday.

The construction industry in the country is expected to experience some radical changes after the National Buildings Inspectorate announced that it plans to outlaw the use of black sand in construction of high rise buildings. 

Speaking in Kimbo area, Juja Sub-County at the site where a three-storey building sunk on Thursday, Secretary National Buildings Inspectorate Moses Nyakiongora said that the sand did not bond well to form concrete and thus is not recommended. He said that they were planning on giving notices in national dailies to warn against the use of that sand. He added that part of the reason the building sunk was the use of the black sand which makes the building weak.  

“What we are recommending is river sand but the black sand is purely volcanic and should only be used for temporary buildings. The owner did first floor and was partially occupied, the reinforcement of the house was also very poor to support such weight,” he explained.
Nyakiongora added that it is not allowed for someone to live in a house which is not complete and does not have an occupation certificate. He said that a team from the National Youth Service will demolish the building since it cannot be salvaged.

“What we intend to bring a team from NYS to inspect the houses around this area because there was a time bomb going by the trend we have seen,” he said.  

He explained that Juja, Ruiru and Ruaka have witnessed a beehive of activities since the completion of the Thika superhighway and the Eastern by pass which has led to many shoddy buildings cropping up.

“These soils are not good for high rise buildings and people who intend to build such house should seek professional advice to either get raft foundation or if they are to go higher they use should piles they are expensive but you can be assured you are safe,” he explained.

“We are trying to teach the constructors and supervisors that it doesn’t help to do shoddy work as professionals. It will take time to see change at with time we will see some improvement,” he said.  

Nyakiongora added that the national government is supporting the counties by training their staff on how to inspect and audit these buildings.  

“We cannot continue loosing lives, we have asked the Kiambu County government to give stoppage notice to such buildings and next week we shall be conducting next week,” he added.

Nyakiongora said that each building will be required to have an engineer’s on site and all the required documentation and if not the site will be closed.

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