Kenya reveals ready mix concrete plan

Workers mix concrete at a construction site.
Workers mix concrete at a construction site. PHOTE/FILE
The Kenyan government is drafting a law that seeks to obligate builders to use ready mix concrete instead of conventional mix, in a move likely to rattle property developers.

The draft law by the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development requires builders of houses with more than three floors to strictly use ready mix concrete supplied by cement makers to ensure quality works.

According to the ministry’s Buildings Inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora, the regulations are aimed at reversing the trend where buildings have been collapsing due to the use of poorly mixed concrete and poor workmanship.

“Cement makers have labs to test the required standards for concrete, which will help address quality issues,” Mr Nyakiongora said, adding that no on-site mixing would be condoned once the law takes effect.

He said the draft law had received unanimous support from key industry players after recent research found that buildings have been collapsing across the country mainly due to the use of weak concrete mixture and sub-standard building materials.

READ: Precast Concrete Technology: Build a House in 8 Days

Pre-mixed concrete offers an alternative to buying raw materials – cement, sand and ballast – and bringing in workers to mix and pour.

With this solution, all you need is to prepare the foam work and to ask your supplier to deliver the concrete already pre-mixed on site.

Bamburi Cement, for example, manufactures ready mix concrete and delivers the same to construction sites by its fleet of concrete mixer trucks – thereby saving builders labour costs and time.

The firm, which is set to be one of the major beneficiaries of the draft regulations, has launched a mobile testing laboratory that will help builders using Bamburi products to ascertain quality of concrete.

3 Responses to "Kenya reveals ready mix concrete plan"

  1. The competition authority should not allow this law to pass. It amounts to ring-fencing the concrete business for the ready-mix big players. The simplest way to deal with concrete quality is to require that every builder carries out concrete strength tests through licenced laboratories and submit (concrete cube tests) to the local Authorities for approval. Ready mix contractors also miss concrete strength tests!!! The on-site casting of concrete is done all over the world. What is the big deal in measuring sand, cement, ballast and water on site? Are these cement companies also manufacturing sand, ballast and water? WHATS GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY!!!

  2. The proposed law is not a bad idea but it will not be a solution to the current problem. To add on what Patrick has said, if developments are undertaken by qualified consultants who are able to put these checks in place there will be no collapse of buildings. Collapse of buildings is mainly caused by rogue developers who do not want to invest in consultants and will therefore engage quacks who care less about the quality of works. In my opinion therefore, pre-mix concrete in lieu of insitu cast will never be a solution. Otherwise you will see many companies coming up in the name of supplying pre-mix concrete and we will therefore have created a more bigger problem in a very simple way.

  3. David Mukonowatsauka · Edit

    Interesting, but needs input from all stakeholders. What happens to construction in remote areas? Also enable other players to come in to curtail monopolistic tendency.

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