It started as an ambitious project to build Africa’s tallest building but three years after a launch attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, all there is at the site is a massive gaping hole posing danger to lives and property in Nairobi’s Upper Hill.
Had things gone according to plan, today an imposing structure known as The Pinnacle would be standing tall along Upper Hill Road, with concrete, glass and steel being piled up to push it towards a breath-taking 300-metres, dwarfing every building ever erected on the continent — including Johannesburg’s 234-metre.
However, the project that was to cost at least Sh20 billion has long stalled, with water and debris filling up an excavation that had been dug to accommodate a four-level basement.
A front-facing banner conceals the massive hole but parts of the site are unfenced, raising safety concerns. Worse still, the Nation has learnt, some of those occupying nearby buildings have complained to the authorities that the abandoned site is affecting their structures, with some reporting cracks attributed to the excavated area.
The National Construction Authority (NCA) declined to comment on whether it had received complaints. Its corporate communications team directed us to a general public notice on deep excavations published on September 1 where NCA gave 30 days to all developers who have dug up excavations more than three metres deep to submit a report detailing the slope stability, how they are monitoring the excavations and detailed studies on how the excavations are affecting adjacent structures.
Developers with abandoned construction sites and deep excavations shall present to the authority a structural integrity report from a structural engineer within a period of 30 days from the date of this notice and a plan to proceed with works.