Hostels

Hurlingham and USIU hostel sites nearing completion, NCA says


Business

Hurlingham and USIU hostel sites nearing completion, NCA says


Qwetu hostels in the Ruaraka area of ​​Nairobi. PHOTO COURTESY

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Summary

  • Nine people have died after a crane collapsed at a high-rise construction site owned by Acorn in Hurlingam, Nairobi.
  • The regulator said earlier that it had suspended work on the construction sites of the two hostels pending the conclusion of the investigations.
  • Acorn raised 2 billion shillings from bond investors to develop two new properties in the middle of this year.

A malpractice investigation of contractors at two construction sites in Nairobi owned by student hostel developer Acorn Holdings after the deaths of eleven people is nearing completion, the construction regulator said.

Nine people died after a crane collapsed at an Acorn-owned high-rise construction site in Hurlingham, Nairobi developed by Chinese contractor Zhejiang Chenjian Construction (Africa).

Earlier in March, two people died and two other workers were injured in an accident at the site of another Acorn project near the developer of the United States International University in Africa (USIU-Africa) by Wadia Construction Company Limited.

“They (the investigations) have not been finalized,” said National Construction Authority (NCA) executive director Maurice Akech, in response to questions from the Daily Nation.

“They are at different levels. One is nearing completion, the recent one is still a long way off.”

The regulator said earlier that it had suspended work on the construction sites of the two hostels pending the conclusion of the investigations.

The NCA had said work on the two sites owned by Acorn, known for its student accommodation brands Qwetu and Qejani, would not resume until the separate accident investigation at the sites was completed.

“(Construction will not resume) until the investigations are completed or the preliminary investigations are completed,” Akech said earlier.

“We are conducting a joint investigation through a multi-agency committee. Once finalized, the investigation report will provide root cause findings and recommendations for action to be taken against the culprits.”

Mr Aketch had earlier said that contractors at the construction sites of the Ruaraka and Hurlingham youth hostels will be prosecuted if professional negligence is proven in separate investigations.

“Sanctions for contractors may be the subject of recommendations for investigation and may include a warning to the contractor, suspension from the register, removal and removal from the register or criminal proceedings”, a- he declared.

Other parties involved in the latest investigation include the Board of Engineers of Kenya (EBK), the Architects and Surveyors Registration Board (BORAQS), the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services (DOSHS) and the ‘National Disaster Management Unit (NMDU).

Following the latest accident at the site, Acorn said in a statement: “Health and safety remains a top priority for our organization and we are committed to working with all relevant authorities to conduct a full investigation into the cause of this accident. . “

Acorn raised 2 billion shillings from bond investors to develop two new properties in the middle of this year.

This was the latest fundraiser for Acorn, which raised 4.2 billion shillings through a corporate bond in October 2019.

Acorn pursued a strategy of building modern student housing near universities. The company has already built three hostels in Parklands, Ruaraka and along Jogoo Road.

He charges between 15,000 and 16,500 shillings for a room on the premium Qwetu brand and between 7,500 and 12,500 shillings under the Qejani brand.

The development of commercial student hostels alleviates the burden of hosting educational institutions while giving investors the opportunity to develop competitive units.

The company listed its two Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) products worth 7.5 billion shillings in February on the recently opened unlisted securities platform of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).