NCA seeks MSMEs participation in affordable housing through compliance

Written By: Ronald Owili

PHOTO | NCA

The National Construction Authority (NCA) is targeting to enhance participation of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Affordable Housing Programme by encouraging compliance to set standards.

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Speaking at the week-long National Research Dissemination Forum held in Nairobi, NCA Executive Director Eng. Maurice Akech said a study has revealed gaps in the construction industry that contribute to cases of buildings collapsing in the country which has so far cost the country at least Kshs. 2.4 billion in investment.

The authority is now keen to ensure the MSMEs seeking to tap into the Affordable Housing Programme by the government adhere to set policies and regulations to avert future tragedies of state-backed or private investments in the construction industry.

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“We have supported affordable housing in terms if ensuring the contractors working in these projects are licensed, have the right skills and right category. We gave carried out quality assurance checks from time to time,” said Akech.

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The NCA study reveals that out of 14, 895 buildings audited in the country, 723 are very dangerous, 10,791 are unsafe, 1217 are fair and 2194 are safe.

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Similarly, between 1990 and 2019, 200 lives have been lost with thousands left injured as a result of buildings collapsing.

“The best way to do things in a correct way is to have standards, policies, regulations and laws in place and in 2019, the Physical Planning and Land Use Act was put in place,” Akech added.

A total of 87 buildings have collapsed to date, with 21 being recorded in 2015 alone.

Due to the disregard of the Building Code, 1968, the research reveals non-conformity among contractors who use a bulk of weak materials in construction which cannot support a structure.

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They include locally made scrap metals, low quality stones and incorrect quantity ratios.

The study recommends among others that design drawings should be subjected to the process of quality control to ensure their adequacy, geotechnical surveys be made mandatory, establishment of one-stop-center to coordinate all approvals, strengthen regulation of skilled workers by ensuring all construction workers are registered with NCA and regular inspections of buildings above 30 years to detect signs of failure.

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