Pain as multi-million estate in Nairobi threatens to give in after developing cracks

Residents of Everest Park Apartments phase I, a residential housing estate in Athi-River town, Machakos County have been forced to find alternative shelter.

Residents of Everest Park Apartments phase I, a residential housing estate in Athi-River town, Machakos County have been forced to seek alternative shelter after the structural fitness of their housing units was put into question by the National Construction Authority (NCA).

The NCA on Monday began carrying out a structural audit of the estate to establish whether the houses, most of which have already been sold out and inhabited, are safe for occupation.

“The inspection will take about 10 days. We will then get in touch with the consultant who supervised the work to propose solutions to remedy whatever is defective for approval,” Engineer S.K Mwaguri of the National Building Inspectorate in the Lands ministry said.

Pan African mortgage financier, Shelter Afrique funded the development of the estate worth more Sh730 million ($7m) is now is now facing huge losses.

The project that was launched in 2012 is a joint venture between Everest Park Limited and Shelter Afrique through equity financing.

Everest Park comprises of about 242 one to three-bedroom apartments.

There are also massive cracks from the foundation to the walls while the building’s window frames on the canopy are deflated and the window panels are broken.

There is also dampness visible on the foundation walls and the surface of the wall appears rough, flaky and pitted.

“This can be rectified by strengthening the foundation,” Mwaguri said.

The housing units are priced at between Sh2.6 million ($25,181) and Sh5.5 million ($53,269) each based on their size.

The second phase of the Athi River-based mixed development comprising one to three bedroom units is under construction at a cost Sh755 million ($7.3).

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