Geologists have cautioned that rapid real estate development in Nakuru with buildings exceeding four storeys is a catastrophe in making as the County sits on unstable geological zones and experiences subtle volcanic faulting.
Though the Building and Construction Standards and Codes (BCSC) developed by the defunct Municipal Council of Nakuru insisted on development of low-storey buildings- less than four floors- this is currently being disregarded.
As the experts point out that a large part of Nakuru has cracks and fissures that pose danger to tall buildings and that soil in the region and its environs is unconsolidated as a result of past eruptions from the Menengai Crater, dozens of new buildings with as many as 12 levels are now fighting for space in the County’s skyline.
The County administration has now been forced back to the drawing board following occurrences of huge ground fissures and cracks that have been reported in various parts of the devolved unit at alarming frequencies.
In the latest incident heavy rains that have pounded the region for the past three days have resulted in a gaping fault line that has cut across roads in the populous Nakuru West Sub-County sparking fears among residents of Koinange, Shabab and Kaptembwa Estates.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui has now called on investors who had developed commercial and residential properties on the path of fault lines ‘to brace themselves’ for tougher measures as his administration moves to implement directives that will be rolled out to eliminate risks associated with structural weaknesses in their buildings.
“We will ensure that people move away from all structures that are on the path of the fault lines after the studies are carried out. This is a very serious matter that will impact negatively on structural strength of most buildings.
The risks continue rising as a lot of water has entered the fissures causing underground erosion even in places that have not caved in. The County administration will make appropriate decisions once a report by the experts is ready,” said the County boss.