The National Building Inspectorate (NBI) in Kenya has cleared two blocks in Athi River’s  Everest Park Apartments Phase 1, that was declared unfit for occupation. The homeowners at the Sh912 million Everest Park were given the green light to move into their homes after authorities declared the housing units safe for occupation. The NBI audits buildings for conformity with land registration, planning, zoning, building standards and structural soundness. 

The project which was launched in 2012 is a joint venture between the developer Everest Park and Shelter Afrique as the equity financier. Shelter Afrique had entered into a partnership with Everest Limited and developed phase one of Everest Park in 2011. Everest park phase one comprises 240 one to three-bedroom apartments. One-bedroom units sold for Sh2.6 million, two-bedroom units were priced at Sh4.6 million and three-bedroom units sold for Sh5.5 million. The project which was built for Sh755 million signified the beginning of a long-term partnership between the two companies. 

In 2017, several houses at the estate developed huge cracks prompting the inspectorate to undertake an urgent structural audit of the property. NBI reported that several of the houses had developed massive cracks on the walls, the window frames on the canopy were squashed and several window panes were damaged. Moreover, dampness was also seen on the wall foundation and the surface of the walls appeared flaky and rough. The structural audit was initiated to determine whether or not the housing units were habitable. The audit findings condemned the building due to structural weakness. 

The State agency in a letter addressed to the architect, H.M Gate, on behalf of the developer says homeowners on Block 2B at Everest Park Apartment Phase 1 can now move in as all the structural defects that were identified have been corrected. “Since the safety concern of the building (Block 2B) which was reported to us have been addressed, the tenants can now reoccupy their houses. Any defects noted during the defects liability period should be addressed by the consultants and contractor,” said NBI Secretary Moses Nyakiongora in a letter dated May 14 and copied to the County Secretary, Machakos County.    

Everest Park Limited was compelled to correct the defects, an undertaking that has now given the project the much-needed occupation go ahead. Apartment units under the first phase of the project are already sold out and developers are currently working on phase two of the Everest Park Estate, which will see an additional 200 houses and a commercial centre built. Residents are advised to embrace government advice on their safety positively and respond in haste for their own sake.