Connect with us

General News

The death of building regulations

Published

on


  • The issue of safety of buildings in Kenya is one that is too familiar.
  • Quite frankly, it would be a tired script, were it not for the fact that people die, lose their livelihood, get injured, and some lose their precious belongings.

Another week, another month, another
catastrophe. Needless deaths. Gone far too soon. We know the cycle, lives
lost, government authorities talk tough. Buildings are evacuated, demolished.
For a short time only, politicians dust off old scripts, they rush to the
scene, assess the damage, offer assistance, praise courage of the affected,
promise to learn lessons, threaten stern action and then go back to their
scheduled activities for the day.

The issue of safety of buildings in Kenya is
one that is too familiar. Quite frankly, it would be a tired script, were it
not for the fact that people die, lose their livelihood, get injured, and some lose
their precious belongings.

Let me run you through some statistics. In
the year 2021, the National Construction Authority recorded 22 cases of
buildings collapsing. Who knows how many others could have gone unreported? And
Kiambu was in the lead with 6 cases. From what I have seen so far in 2022, Kiambu
may yet again top those charts. The big question always is, who is responsible?
You see, what is frustrating in this country is that we know what to do. We
also know who is supposed to do it, yet nothing gets done. I have done an
explainer on this before, but for the sake of time, I will run through some
highlights of how it all works.

From approvals of drawings, architectural and
structural approvals that are done by both national and county governments, to
environmental impact assessments that must be carried out by the National
Management Authority and even the National Construction Authority (NCA) that
then checks that all of these approvals have been obtained before issuing
compliance certification. Contractors and sub-contractors who must be
registered with the NCA, to quantity surveyors and architects who must be
certified by their respective boards. But it goes beyond those pre-construction
approvals.

During the construction phase, there is
supposed to be continuous supervision by government checking that there is a
registered contractor on-site at all times. After the construction is complete,
the county government comes to do an inspection, and if satisfied, they issue the
developer with an occupation certificate, meaning it is now fit for occupation.

The State department of works in the national
government is responsible for setting up management of building and construction
standards and codes and regulates the industry through its various agencies.
The county government is responsible for site inspection during and after
construction ensuring fire safety and health is maintained at the site and also
issues the occupancy permits, and this is done at ward level. Yet, fellow Kenyans,
even with all these checks and balances in place, we still have innocent
Kenyans dying in buildings?

So, what is the problem? Everyone clearly
knows what to do. So why do we have them hopping from one rubble site to
another, feigning shock and disbelief and grief? Why do we have them talking
tough, after the fact? It is great that the developer of the building in Kiambu
County that killed a lovely couple in a nearby home was arrested, apparently
attempting the leave the country, but at what cost? A lovely elderly couple,
living out their retirement in peace lost their lives senselessly because
everyone who could have done something to prevent these needless deaths, did
nothing.

Folks, all the entities I have listed here,
at both national and county levels, have blood on their hands. Let us have no
more tough talk, no more rushing to the scene with relief supplies for the
affected. Protect the lives and property of Kenyans who have entrusted you and
paid you to do it. Basically, just do your job.



Source link

Comments

comments

Facebook

Trending