The Ministry of Housing is working on a Bill that seeks to regulate and bring order to the construction industry, a senior official in the ministry has said.
Housing minister Soita Shitanda said that, if passed into law, the Built Environment Bill will tame rogue developers who are used to building sub-standard houses that cause much damage in the booming real estate sector.
“This Bill seeks to tame mediocrity in the construction sector and assure the public of quality workmanship in the houses they live in,” Mr Shitanda said adding that no developer shall commence any construction work unless all the plans and permits have been approved.
The proposed law seeks to make it mandatory for every developer to make a brief description of the nature and purpose of the development and a report in line with the Environmental Management and Coordination Act prior to authorisation.
Any developer who does not abide by the proposed law – especially seeking authorisation of the building before starting construction work – will be liable to a fine of at least Sh500,000 or imprisonment for a term of at least six months or both.
“Under the new law, there would be an “Accredited Checker” who will be charged with approving all structures in the country,” said housing PS Tirop Kosgey.
According to Mr Kosgey, the “Accredited Checker”, who must be a qualified structural or civil engineer with at least 15 years of post-registration experience, will be required to create a register of all the buildings in the country.
The proposed law will create a National Buildings Authority (NBA) that will oversee all the regulation in the sector while ensuring that all the 47 county governments comply with the provisions of the Act.
The NBA will also approve all building designs and plans, inspect all construction projects, issue occupation and maintenance certificates and maintain a register of buildings.
The authority will have the powers to order evacuation, maintenance, stopping of construction or demolition if a structure fails to conform to the provisions of the law.