Everest Park builder dismisses ‘shoddy work’ report as false

Everest Park apartments in Athi River.
Everest Park apartments in Athi River. PHOTO/COURTESY
A property developer behind the newly built Everest Park Apartments in Athi River, Machakos County, has dismissed as fictitious a new damning report by a State agency that says its 240 newly-built houses are unfit for human occupation.

The National Buildings Inspectorate (NBI), which initiated a structural audit of the property after several houses developed massive cracks in September last year, said on Wednesday that the assessment found that 240 homes under phase one of the project, valued at Sh918 million, were structurally unfit for habitation.

“Since tests already carried out on block 2B show low soil-bearing capacity leading to settlement of the building, similar tests should be extended to all buildings to ascertain their structural integrity,” the report said, adding that tenants should be moved to allow for a comprehensive audit of all the buildings.

Commenting on the report, Everest Park managing director James Muriuki said the accusations are unfactual and that the report was “done with a motive to extort money, [thereby] undermining the lifelong investment of over 240 Kenyans.”

Mr Muriuki criticised the NBI for making general recommendations yet only two out of 11 blocks had structural defects that could easily be rectified.

“This contradicts your own observation and is totally inconsistent with basic scientific principles of specifics as opposed to generalities. For a block that has a hair crack below the window, do you evacuate the residents?” Mr Muriuki asked in a letter to the NBI.

READ: Safety concerns as Sh918m Everest Park develops huge cracks

The developer now wants the report trashed and a fresh site audit conducted by a vetted professional who can grant all involved parties an observatory role in the exercise.

The Everest Park estate, whose construction was launched in 2012, is a joint venture between Everest Park Ltd., the developer, and Shelter Afrique, who are the equity financiers.

The estate comprises 120 one-bedroom units sold for Sh2.6 million each, 60 two-bedroom units priced at Sh4.6 million each and 60 three-bedroom units sold for Sh5.5 million each.

Houses under phase one of the development have already been sold out and the developer is now working on phase two that will see an additional 200 houses and a commercial centre built by end of year.

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