Report that condemned Kiambu real estate sector
SEE ALSO :Explainer: How a governor is impeachedThe report cited investors’ wanton disregard for the rule of law, as they recruited quack surveyors, engineers, contractors and architects, as well as disregarded all good practices of the industry. “You find an investor who has been authorised to build a three (storey) building going all the way to the sixth,” the report said. Structural weaknesses The government then ordered all buildings under construction to be halted until an inspectorate team drawn from the ministries of local authorities and public works lifted the ban. Tenants were flushed out from buildings seen to have irreversible structural weaknesses.
SEE ALSO :Baba Yao fights backIt is not known how and when the government lifted the construction ban because as the game of musical chairs continued in government offices, developers kept on building. But the property sector remained unperturbed by the report, the government or the general public’s fears. It continued to record abnormal appreciations in both land and building prices. Rent also went through the roof. An eighth of an acre in major towns of the county by 2010 had hit the million-shilling mark. Today, some parts of Kiambu command as much as Sh90 million an acre. In the outskirts of the county, which has been dubbed the capital city’s bedroom, a quarter of an acre costs an average of Sh1.2 million. According to a pricing index by HassConsult Real Estate, Ruaka has the most expensive land in the county with an acre going for Sh90.9 million, followed by Kiambu town at Sh43 million, Ruiru at Sh25.6 million and Limuru at Sh23 million. The lower-priced regions include Thika at Sh19 million, with Juja and Tigoni joint at Sh14 million. The Lands, Housing and Physical Planning county executive, James Maina, now says his government is addressing the challenges facing the real estate sector in Kiambu. “We have moved to minimise risks in the building sector to a bare minimum,” he said. He told Home&Away that the process of building approvals is being done electronically, with those for single dwellings being approved within seven days upon due diligence and technical evaluations. Development applications “Other development applications are evaluated and approved within 30 days in line with the Physical and Land Use Planning Act, as well as compliance to building regulations. This is being consistently followed,” Mr Maina said. “All developments (architectural) are further subjected to civil and structural approvals and a geo-technical analysis of the soils is a mandatory requirement.” He added that all approvals must be submitted and designed by qualified and registered professionals and “we we have a surveillance team of engineers who check the construction sites and confirm if the conditions of approval are being followed diligently”. However, Maina admitted that there are developers who construct without approvals and or without employing qualified personnel, but said “those are the ones we are cracking down hard on despite their diversionary noise that we are harassing them”. [email protected]
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