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Public Works, NCA Declare Zero Tolerance on Suspension Defiance

November 26th, 2018 / by mjenzi

Public Works Principal Secretary Prof. Paul Maringa today declared a zero tolerance policy on defying of suspension notices by developers across the country. Speaking at his office at the Public Works building in Nairobi, Prof. Maringa stated that the government will not compromise on non-compliance with the law. “It is important that we ensure the law is followed in the construction process so that we protect lives and livelihoods. We have developers who have been behaving like they are above the law but today I want them to know that nobody is above the law and that under no circumstances can an illegality be legal.”

Prof. Maringa further urged members of the public to cooperate in the process at their respective levels. “We’ve shared part of the list of notorious contractors and developers so that you in the media can inform the public and so that the guilty can stop pretending they don’t know that they are breaking the law. If by chance you had built your structure without following due process, it won’t automatically be demolished; you can apply for regularisation through National Construction Authority or even the State Department of Public Works. If your structure is sound, it will be given a clean bill of health and you will not have to hide all the time,” he added.

Currently, the construction process begins with approvals from the respective country government, as well as the National Environment Management Agency (NEMA) and the Water Resources Authority (WRA)

where applicable. The National Construction Authority conducts quality assurance on the construction sites, checking for compliance with seven guidelines: a registered contractor on site, accredited construction workers, personal protective equipment for those working on site, registration of the construction project, hoarding of the site, a site board showing full approvals and consultants engaged in the project as well as safety signage on site.

“Currently, we have over 3,000 construction sites that have defied suspension notices by the National Construction Authority, a majority of them being in Nairobi County, especially in informal settlement areas such as Huruma, Githurai or Gachie. Copies of all suspension notices are shared with the county government, the Kenya Police Service as well as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations,” Prof. Maringa said. “All developers are put on notice that all measures necessary will be taken to ensure they comply with the law. We are working closely with the enforcement agencies to ensure the same.”

Also speaking at the conference was NCA Ag. Executive Director Eng. Maurice Akech, who appealed to all developers to comply with the laws governing the sector.

“NCA publishes a list of all construction sites that have defied suspension notices on the Authority’s website to aid transparency when it comes to quality assurance, part of which has been shared by the PS,” he said, continuing, “Majority of all sites that have been suspended do not have a registered contractor, nor the necessary consultants such as the engineers or architects. This is a recipe for disaster, because it means that construction is meant to progress with no supervision, which is what leads to structural collapse. From the list we’ve shared, you can see that majority of the notorious sites are proposed residential developments meant for occupation by members of the public. If we do not act, all these houses pose a threat to potential occupants.”

The Land and Environment Court has been instrumental in assisting the Authority with enforcement, issuing court orders barring developers from proceeding until they have complied with all regulations. NCA is also in the process of amending its enabling Act to enhance enforcement powers.

“The ongoing demolitions are a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to protecting its citizens from shoddy construction,” Prof. Maringa said. “Rest assured we will not rest until full compliance with the relevant legislation is attained.”

The Authority publishes updated lists of non-compliant on its website on a weekly basis for purposes of public information. The lists can be viewed HERE