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State to establish housing regulator to tame quacks

CARTOON
By | August 3rd 2010

By Patrick Githinji

The Government plans to establish a national housing construction authority to regulate the sector and help rid it of quacks.

Public Works PS John Longanyapuo said the authority will minimise the level of quack-contractors and consultants who have cost the country’s economy massive losses.

"The Ministry is seeking to amend the current Construction Act and enact laws that will give teeth to supervisory and regulatory authority," he said.

Prof Lonyangapuo spoke during the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK),Quantity Surveyor’s Chapter Construction Industry Awards of Excellence dinner in Nairobi at the weekend.

"The Cabinet assent to the national construction authority aims at establishing an authority that will register, regulate and enhance the capacity of local contractors," he said.

It would also provide a level playing field for local construction companies to compete with foreign companies, Longanyapuo added.

NEW ERA

He said the legal reforms will transform the construction sector and usher in a new era and better days for the industry.

The enactment comes at a time when the construction industry is having many quack contractors whose poor workmanship has led to massive losses in the industry.

Longanyapuo said the ministry has already proposed the review of Cap 525 to improve services being offered by architects and quality surveyors.

"This will set the stage for the enactment of new legislation to govern the quality surveyors and architects since Cap 525 has been termed outdated, archaic and has failed to keep quacks out of the building sector," he said.

And, to spur the sector’s development, he said the ministry is developing a public works policy to allow development and advancement in the local construction industry.

"We intend to develop a strong sector so that local contractors and consultants can competitively bid for tender within the region and earn the country foreign exchange," the PS said.

In the long run, he said the Ministry’s dream is to build a strong, competitive construction industry that will secure and guarantee quality infrastructure and contribute to socio-economic development of Kenya.

Last year the AAK had proposed that contractors, engineers, quantity surveyors and planners display their names on plaques to be permanently fixed on buildings they supervise.

This, however, is not strictly being followed and poorly done residential and business premises thrive.

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