Engineers root for wider space to grow their profession

Institution of Engineers of Kenya when they visited Northern Water Collector Tunnel (NWCT) for bench marking purpose. [Boniface Gikandi  ]

Engineers have challenged the government to create a conducive environment for the profession to help achieve the country’s development agenda.

The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) conference in Mombasa County was attended by local and international participants and tackled various themes including smart cities, intelligent infrastructure and climate change resilience.

IEK president Nathan Matalanga said the industry faces several challenges that require improvement of the institutional and legislative framework for efficient delivery of services.

“Budget for infrastructure development forms a large percentage of the national budget and attracts a lot of interest from citizens, some with bad intention,” he said.

“A raid has been made on legislation to open up the management of engineering dockets to people without engineering training. I urge us to be on the lookout and even set up a fund to help the council deal with policy matters and legislation.”

He said IEK is already lobbying the national and county governments so that all engineering positions are held by professional engineers.

“Engineers should also be given space and time to give guidance and lead legal policy formation in State agencies by being appointed to boards,” Eng Matalanga said.

The need for engineering in the growth of any economy, he said, cannot be over-emphasised, giving examples of countries such as China that have achieved rapid development because they and have embraced engineers.

“Engineers are indispensable drivers of socio-economic development. Let us therefore join our hands and minds in this great walk we have embarked on. Together, we can overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and engineer a sustainable future for all,” he said.

There has been uproar from the local professionals who blame government for giving big projects to foreign firms on the claim that local professionals lack capacity to do quality jobs within set timelines.

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