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Kiambu to approve house plans in five days, governor says

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kiambu will soon start approving single-dwelling home plans within five days, Governor Ferdinand Waititu has said.

The county will come up with a policy that will allow quicker handling of the backlog of housing plans inherited from his predecessor.

“We came to office and found real mess in the approval of housing plans. The reason for the backlog was that some individuals in the relevant department demanded bribes in order to approve the plans,” Mr Waititu told the Business Daily.

He said his administration seeks to eliminate corruption and ensure strict approval deadlines for housing plans. “When a developer shows up with a single-dwelling housing plan seeking approval, the plan should be approved within five working days,” he said.

The governor said corruption in the county had eroded investor confidence with some being forced to relocate to other counties. Land prices in Kiambu last year fell as a result.

“We had a situation where investors had their building plans hidden to compell them to part with bribes. Some developers who were seeking permission to expand buildings were taken in circles and their projects stalled,” he said.

“We are now bringing in new hope based on transparent and above-board dealings with our developers.”

The governor said introduction of stringent laws is part of the county’s transformation of the construction sector.

A 2012 audit report by the Housing ministry found that 95 per cent of the high-rise buildings then under construction in the county had grave architectural faults.

The remaining five per cent were found to have fallen short of 50 per cent rating in safety standards.

The audit was ordered after two buildings in Kiambu town collapsed within a span of two months, killing 20 and injuring more than 50.