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Construction research hit by poor funding: PS

By James Wanzala | January 21st 2021
By James Wanzala | January 21st 2021
Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa the Principal Secretary, State Department Of Public Works speaking during the research dissemination workshop. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Lack of funds is hindering research in the construction sector and subsequent dissemination of research findings to help guide public policy.

Public Works Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa said lack of funds has led to poor construction and handling of waste management, among other challenges bedeviling the sector.

“Sometimes the funds which have been allocated for research or training to these institutions is limited or not considered a priority yet our institutions of higher learning are required to have a backbone of research,” he said Tuesday during a three-day construction research forum in Nairobi hosted by the National Construction Authority.

“Construction remains an anchor for the development of all other sectors, and therefore construction research is an integral part of strategic planning.”

Maj General (Rtd) Kihalangwa said research is part of the construction industry and failure to do it leads to negative aspects such as collapse of buildings.

Police and residents at the scene where a five storied building crumbled last night on April 4, 2018 rendering over five families homeless. Locals accuse the contractor whom they said had done shoddy work where the house located at Juacali estate in kakamega town could be seen with many cracks. [Chrispen Sechere, Standard]

He added that waste management at construction sites is a big challenge.

“The waste management at construction sites has never got a solution and I challenge you to focus on it,” the PS told the forum participants.

The government is in the process of introducing revised national building regulations, also referred to as the Building Code, to help the adoption of new building technologies that can significantly lower construction costs.

The regulations seek to replace the 1969 Kenya Building Code.

NCA Executive Director Maurice Akech said they are embarking on the stakeholder validation stage and hope to finalise in the coming weeks.

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