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Tenants told to vacate Ruaka flats after perimeter wall collapses.

National Construction Authority officials on Wednesday afternoon ordered tenants to evacuate an apartment block in Ruaka whose perimeter wall caved in, exposing the parking lot after night rains.

The Secretary to National Building Inspectorate Moses Nyakiongora told the Star that the collapsed wall at Grafion Apartment was as a result of unprofessional engineering at the construction in the adjacent plot.

"A developer had dug up a huge foundation next to the Grafion Apartments without proper reinforcements, the trench was too deep, weakening the apartment block's perimeter wall, "Nyakiongora said.

He said five vehicles were damaged when the parking space caved in and vehicles trickled downslope to the pit excavated by the adjacent constructors.

Five cars trickled to the deep excavated trench in the neighboring wallNo casualty was reported.

NCA has suspended construction works in the neighboring land until structural and engineering concerns are addressed.

According to the official, some tenants have defied the evacuation order.

"We have immediately asked the owner of Grafion apartments to prop up the building before renting his rooms to residents again," he said.

According to Hass Q4 2018 Property Index, the growing demand for residential housing has given Ruaka a reputation for high rents, with a number of massive construction projects underway to put up luxury apartments.

The pleasant weather, favorable landscape and proximity to Nairobi have made the area particularly attractive for young professionals looking for a place to live, and developers have tapped into this demand to build apartments and multiple dwelling units.

In response to the growing number of middle-income residents with disposable incomes, Ruaka has also seen the establishment and expansion of shopping and entertainment venues in close proximity, such as the Village Market, Two Rivers Mall and Rosslyn Riviera, which have in turn driven up traffic in the area.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:May 8, 2019
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