Friday, 10 February 2012

Nairobi 2012, Falling Walls

All expensive houses in Nairobi are surrounded by thick and tall walls built of rock blocks. They look solid like the Great Walls in China. The walls are topped with electrical wires to add more protection and to issue warning. Shrubs and vines are planted along the walls to make it more attractive. Gardeners work constantly to prune these plants.

After we were well asleep last night, we were awaken by a sudden large bang and followed by the noisy siren. Fortunately, it didn't last long and soon we were back to sleep again. The next morning, we found out that the whole back walls of our neighbour had fallen down. 

Looking at what remain of the walls, it is apparent that the walls are not built on any foundation at all. The expansion and contraction due to the different in temperature in the day and night have probably weaken the mortar, and the walls were practically sitting on an unstable and weak platform. Any small agitation is sufficient to trigger it to fall.

Therefore, one must not forget to ask the gardener to test the safety of the ladder after it is laid against the wall before he starts climbing it to do the pruning. It is advisable to add a liability statement in the lease in case if the walls fall down and caused damages and injuries to others. And most important of all, don't forget to ask the children not to play near the walls.

Houses in Nairobi are surrounded by stone walls

Stone blocks from the falling walls
There is no sign of foundation of the walls

The whole walls fell all the way to the joining walls

The remain of the walls

The walls are sitting on this surface

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