The taskforce in charge of drafting the Construction Industry Policy was officially commissioned by the Principle Secretary, State Department of Housing, Urban Development and Public Works Mr. Charles Hinga.
The taskforce is chaired by the Institution of Engineers of Kenya’s Eng. Jane Mutulili and vice-chaired by Kenya Institute of Public Policy and Research’s Victor Mose. Other institutions represented in the 46 man taskforce in addition to the National Construction Authority (NCA) include the State Departments of Infrastructure, Public Works and Housing, the Architectural Association of Kenya, the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, the Kenya Roads Boards, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Property Developers Association, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Law Society of Kenya, Kenya Bankers Association, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya Vision 2030, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Railways Corporation, the Energy Regulatory Commission, Institution of Construction and Project Management of Kenya and the Council of Governors, amongst others. NCA also serves as the secretariat for the taskforce,
Speaking at the function that took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, PS Hinga welcomed the policy as a critical backdrop to the realization of the Big Four Agenda. “I am proud of the strides being made towards ensuring this industry is streamlined. The only way we can achieve proper development is to have everything anchored on and supported by strong policy,” he said.
The PS spoke on developments on the housing pillar of the Big Four agenda. “Brace yourselves for one of the most exciting times in history. In 90 days, we are breaking ground on the first housing project, while six others are set to break ground in 180 days. One of our cost reduction strategies is standardization of all materials used in construction of these houses, and we want to empower local industries to produce or manufacture these materials en masse. It is the responsibility of NCA and the rest of the policy makers to ensure that the end users derive utmost benefit.”
In attendance were NCA Chairman Steven Oundo and the rest of the board directors, as well as Executive Director Dr. Daniel Manduku. The process of drafting the policy commenced in March 2018, when the zero draft of the policy was circulated to industry stakeholders who then nominated representatives to sit on the taskforce. However, agitation for a major industry policy begun with the formation of NCA, in order to address existing gaps. Some of the areas to be addressed by the policy include low completion rates of construction projects, lengthy procurement procedures, low access to affordable project financing, inadequate harmony in policies, laws and regulations, low technological uptake and exposure levels of stakeholders to international best practices and use of inappropriate construction materials. Other areas include poor quality of works as a result of poor workmanship and use of substandard materials, unethical conduct and unfair business practices and poor practices in safety and health management.
The policy, whose main objective is to create a well-coordinated, dynamic, vibrant, competitive and sustainable construction industry-, will cover the following thematic areas: business development, quality assurance, materials, equipment and technology, sustainability, capacity building, research and development, ethics and practice among others.
Other objectives that it will seek to realize will be to strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders in achieving efficiency and effectiveness, encourage public-private partnerships and joint ventures in the undertaking of various construction works, formulation of clear guidelines and strategies toward review and enforcement of existing legislation, to develop a framework for the enforcement of occupational health and safety regulations that will safe guard workers and to integrate processes from different bodies in order to provide efficiency in the time it takes to acquire construction works approvals.
Its performance indicators will revolve around program management, transparency and accountability, attraction of investment and innovation, skills transfer, the use of local materials and technology, identification of delivery bottlenecks, performance monitoring and resource mobilization.
“This is a first of its kind and we are excited about the changes that will come and the gains that will be made as a result of these efforts in streamlining our industry,” said Dr. Manduku.
Following the completion of the first draft, the policy will be presented to various stakeholders for feedback, and eventually a National Public Participation Workshop where members of the public can present their views. The final document is expected to be handed over in July 2018.