NCA revokes 2015 building permits

The scene of a collapsed building in Nairobi.
The scene of a collapsed building in Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
The National Construction Authority (NCA) has revoked all building permits issued this year, following revelations that some corrupt officials had colluded with developers to approve sub-standard buildings.

NCA executive director Daniel Manduku on Monday ordered fresh review of building permits issued from January 1 to date in a bid to ensure shoddy structures are not authorised.

“We are reviewing all approvals since January,” said Mr Manduku who, however, added that no formal complaint of graft had been lodged at the construction industry regulator.

Since January, when President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the Lands and Housing ministry to search Nairobi for buildings at risk of collapse, allegations of corruption have been made against officials who allegedly take bribes from owners of shoddy buildings to have them approved.

In June this year, the Buildings Inspectorate, which had partnered with the NCA, Nairobi County and the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Planning to audit buildings in Nairobi, found that 52 per cent of the 1,600 buildings that it had inspected were not safe for human occupation.

READ: Massive crackdown on defective buildings in Nairobi

Owners of the defective buildings were given a month to correct the defects or face prosecution – a move that presented an opportunity for dishonest officials to make a killing out of the affected landlords.

This unfortunate turn of events has seen at least ten buildings collapse while under construction in Nairobi alone over the past three months – killing scores of people.

The NCA, which was constituted under the Act No.41 of 2011, monitors construction projects to ensure structural integrity of structures. Those that fail the quality test or are found to be unregistered are usually blacklisted and condemned for demolition.

The move is aimed at reducing the amount of malpractices that have seen buildings collapsing and many key state projects being delayed.