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Construction regulator eyes powers to try rogue contractors

 A scene in Pipeline Estate, Nairobi, where a building collapsed in June. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NMG
A scene in Pipeline Estate, Nairobi, where a building collapsed in June. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NMG 

The National Construction Authority (NCA) is pushing for a review of its regulations to give it powers to prosecute offenders amid growing cases of developers taking shortcuts in the key industry.

NCA chief executive, Daniel Manduku, says the agency had already petitioned Parliament to oversee the process of amending the NCA Act.

Currently, the Authority directly regulates the professional conduct of contractors and construction workers.

Consultants such as engineers, architects and quantity surveyors are regulated by their respective professional bodies.

If a developer is found to be at fault, the case is handled by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

“We have identified areas in law that need to be changed and give us enforcement powers,” Mr Manduku said Tuesday during announcement of the agency's attainment of ISO 9001:2015 certification.

This move comes amid warnings from the Lands Ministry that most buildings in Nairobi do not meet safety standards, exposing residents to potential disaster.

“We have identified Huruma, Zimmerman, Pipeline, Huruma and Umoja as potential disaster zones in the county due the many buildings that fall below standards,” Moses Nyakiongera, Building Inspectorate secretary at the Lands told the told the Business Daily in an earlier interview.

Quality

NCA joins 32 other organisations that have transited to the new version of certification owing to its development of standards for the construction industry and quality management systems.

“With this certification, NCA demonstrates to its stakeholders that if we implement standards, we can save a lot of lives through failures attributed to poor workmanship and disregard for laid down regulations,” said Charles Ongwae, the managing director at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

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