Educating Kenyans on legal requirements key to avoiding demolitions

Written By: Claire Wanja
463

Ongoing demolition in Kenya targets buildingsthat have been constructed without following the due legal process.
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The National Construction Authority (NCA) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) say they will now focus more on educating Kenyans on the ‘necessary legal requirements’ for developers to avoid demolitions.

The two government institutions observe that with some 4,000 buildings targeted for demolition in Kenya, there is urgent need for construction professionals to review the correct legal approval process as a means of safeguarding future projects and avoid losses occasioned by demolitions.

NCA and NEMA, who sit on the technical committee charged with auditing unsafe buildings and those built on wetlands, say that the current demolition action whose primary focus is reclaiming riparian land in Nairobi is an example of what could happen if asset owners neglect to follow the due legal process.

The two authorities announce they will utilize The Big 5 Construct East Africa, the official Exhibition of National Construction Week Kenya, to highlight these issues.

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“The benefit of our talk at The Big 5 Construct East Africa is to help construction professionals better understand the reasoning behind the ongoing demolitions in Kenya. The NCA looks forward to providing our clients with the right advise at this event,” observed Eng. Stephen Mwilu, Manager of Regional Offices NCA.

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Mwilu notes that demolition should be carried out in the reverse order of construction as far as appropriate. The structural elements, ahead of the internal floors, should be demolished in the following sequence: the slab; the secondary beams; then the main beams.

According to NEMA, non-compliance includes adding extra units on top of the approved ones, encroachment into the road reserve, encroachment into the riparian reserve and failure to observe the building line and setbacks.

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“Even when approval has been granted, failure to comply with the approval conditions is attracting demolition by the county government,” adds Leah Muthoni Mutonyi, HEW Consultant and Environmental Expert, NEMA adding that “Demolition leads to a lot of destruction on construction equipment and materials coupled with financial losses. It is therefore very necessary for developers to understand how to avoid it.”

Both NCA and NEMA representatives will be speaking at The Big 5 Construct East Africa from 7-9 November at Kenyatta International Convention Centre. More insight into the topic of demolition in Kenya will be available to visitors through the free CPD (continuing professional development) certified workshops at the event.

40 workshop sessions will cover a wealth of added topics under themes of Affordable Housing, Technology &Design in Building Construction, Project Management and Engineering, Sustainability in Construction including a dedicated series for Women in Construction.

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The Big 5 Construct East Africa will also bring over 220 exhibitors from more than 20 countries including Qatar, Germany, Turkey, France, Italy, China and Greece to showcase the latest building innovations and solutions.

Now in its second edition, the launch event welcomed over 7,000 participants in 2016, hosted more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries, and held 20 workshop sessions.

The National Construction Week organised by the NCA is backed by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development. The event also enjoys the support of the Engineers Board of Kenya, the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Green Building Society, Kenya Property Developers Association and many more high-level trade associations in the construction industry.

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