The Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) has called on the newly inaugurated National Construction Authority (NCA) to enforce laws and bring sanity in the construction industry.
AAK chairman Stephen Oundo said the sector has in recent times suffered many challenges, including the rising number of buildings collapsing while under construction, thanks to corruption and out-dated regulations.
“Only four out of ten buildings in Nairobi have a certificate of occupancy, meaning they may have been built by quarks.
Kenya has allowed quacks to take over the construction industry and that’s why we are seeing so many buildings collapsing,” Mr Oundo said adding that the situation could be worse in other parts of the country.
The sad revelation comes at a time when hardly a month goes without a case of a collapsed building being reported. Barely a month ago a 6-storey building under construction collapsed in Mlolongo killing five people and wounding several others.
Similar incidents have been reported in Westlands, Embakasi, Langata, Nyeri and Bungoma.
Although construction is a major contributor to the Kenyan economy, the industry has remained unregulated since 1986 when parliament disbanded the National Construction Corporation – pushing up the number of quacks operating in the country.
But with the recent inauguration of the NCA, the days of quacks and non-performing contractors are now numbered. The Authority has already said it will thoroughly scrutinise all contractors to ensure only those with enough qualified technical staff are registered.
The Authority will also monitor the construction process (including private properties) as detailed in the Physical Planning Act currently being implemented by the local authorities.