Lobby wants engineers board reinstated

A local engineers lobby wants the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development to appoint its members to the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK).

The lobby argues that delays have paralysed operations of the body and jeopardised the future of the profession.

“Currently, there is no EBK since March 8 and the parent ministry started the process constituting a new board. Six months later, the process has not been concluded,” said Forum for Restoration of Professional Engineering in Kenya (Forpe) Organising Secretary Martin Aluga.

“Without the board, registration of engineers, inspection of construction sites have stalled and the safety of the public is at stake.”

Aluga said Forpe would petition the President if the relevant ministry fails to put the board in place. He blamed the ministry for the decline of professionalism and neglect.

“Kenyan engineers under Forpe have identified a number of challenges in the sector including the deterioration of professionalism, discrimination, inadequate training and mentorship, poor remuneration, poor regulatory framework, political influence and accreditation challenges that are making it difficult to practice professional engineering,” said Aluga. He noted that the recent forum was meant to find a viable way to address the issues.

“We have formed the Kenya Engineering Sector Working Group that will follow up on these issues with member organisations in the engineering sector,” he said.

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Public sector

Aluga said local engineers training and practising deserved to be well looked after considering their place in the economy.

“Every teacher or doctor or nurse working in the public sector with particular qualifications and experience earn the same basic salary with a variation in allowances,” he said.

“It is mind-boggling how engineers working in the public sector with the same qualifications, experience, and age have different terms”.

He observed that temporary engineers as per the EBK registrar make up of two Ugandans, one Jamaican, a Serbian and a Rwandese with no engineer from either China or Japan.

“This means that no single engineer from China or Japan is working in Kenya. This is not true as the construction sector is flooded by expatriates with most coming from China and Japan,” he said recently in Nairobi.  

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