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Maurice Akech:NCA is developing the building code which is a standard of construction for the industry

National Construction Authority (NCA) Executive Director Maurice Akech has disclosed plans are underway to publish a building code replacing the one developed in 1968 by the first quarter of the financial year starting July.

He hailed the move by the industry regulator to develop a code of conduct saying it has guided and regulated the conduct of parties engaged in construction-related activities and  established the standards against which this can be measured and monitored.

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According to the state agency,code of ethics for the contractors describes the rights and responsibilities of every player in the construction value chain while laying the fundamental principles for their harmonious relationship in service delivery. It obligates all players to abide by professional codes and regulations.

“We’ve developed a code of conduct for the construction industry that guides the roles and responsibilities of the various players in the construction value chain.We developed a skill-transfer framework for foreign contractors such that it is not haphazard and can be traced.We expect to publish a building code replacing the one developed in 1968 by the first quarter of the financial year starting July. All our services are offered on automated platforms.” noted Akech who joined the construction watchdog in 2014 as general manager in charge of research, training and capacity before rising through the ranks to the ED position.

According to NCA, buildings collapse due to flouting of zoning roles and over-development where developers send the wrong building plans for approval with an expectation of high returns on investment.

Other reasons for building failures include poor workmanship, rogue contractors, use of substandard material, poor maintenance, failure to undertake a geo-technical study, building overload and developer’s greed, among others.

To cushion the collapse of buildings, NCA explained that it was constantly carrying w quality checks through proper
coordination and collaboration among the players in the sector in an effort aimed at ensuring that everything is right.

“We have started addressing this through multi-agency collaboration in our activities, including working with county governments, regulators like Nema [National Environment Management Authority] and the enforcement unit like the police.We move as a team and carry out joint operations or a joint inspection. By the time we visit a site, we have received numerous reports on non-compliance issues on a building that need to be addressed. Previously, there was a lack of proper coordination to address those issues.” he added

Data by the National Building Inspectorate (NBI) on building tragedies in the past five years, shows that 87 buildings have collapsed. About 200 people have lost their lives and 1,000 were injured.

Aketch regarded as one of the outstanding parastatal chiefs further indicated that the board of the NCA carries out an enquiry which is like a quasi-judicial process, leading to certain actions after the findings and recommendations.

Over the past four years,  36 inquiries have been conducted following collapses that have caused either death or injuries for which 50 percent of contractors have been suspended, with the longest period being 36 months.

Suspended contractors are denied business and the projects they are handling are stopped. After the period lapses, they have to apply afresh to be considered back into the register.

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