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70 per cent of buildings below par, says National Construction Authority

COUNTIES
By Mwaniki Gitonga and Mercy Kahenda | February 2nd 2015

The National Construction Authority (NCA) has raised an alert over the rising number of unsafe high-rise buildings in Naivasha town.

According to NCA, 70 per cent of structures in the lakeside town do not meet quality building standards and pose a danger to the public.

This emerged when the authority toured the town and earmarked several buildings either for demolition or re-inspection due to lack of certified documents.

NCA Senior Investigations Officer Engineer Crispus Ndinyo said most of the buildings they visited do not comply with building regulations.

He said the vice appears rampant in almost all buildings currently under construction, adding that developers behind such works should be arrested and prosecuted.

No gear

The officer said they also noted that many workers on construction sites do not have safety gear while some contractors are not registered.

"We have gone to various counties across the country and the emerging issue is ignorance among developers and contractors," he said.

NCA Regional Officer, Nancy Milgo, said most construction sites are danger zones under contractors who have not been registered in accordance with the law.

Ms Milgo also noted that certified documents, mainly buildings plans, were missing from various sites that the authority had visited.

"Of all the counties we visited, Nairobi emerged top in terms of flouting the law but we are keen to address this," she said.

NCA Registration and Compliance Oficer Susan Ruto expressed the authority's concern over the rising number of buildings that are not safe for human habitation.

"It is regrettable that more than 70 per cent of buildings across the entire country do not meet set standards and are putting tenant's lives at risk," she said.

Meanwhile, county health workers have threatened to down their tools after the county government failed to pay leave allowances.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union South Rift Chairman Dr Samuel Oroko said these allowances were withdrawn without consultation which is against labour laws.

The chair said workers were supposed to receive their allowances in November last year but the county promised to pay them in January, a promise it is yet to honour.

Dr Oroko said the county's 2,200 health workers will, from Tuesday this week, down their tools to compel the county government to pay up.

Not factored

He claimed when union officials made inquiries about the delay, county officials told them they had not factored the allowance in the budget and that they are currently working on a supplementary budget.

"Health is a vital sector, how can the county omit allowances in their budget?" Dr Oroko asked.

The chairman said health workers in the county continue to face challenges, which end up affecting health service delivery as many move from public facilities to private ones that are more rewarding.

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