NYERI, Kenya, Jul 30 – As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise each day, the construction sector in Mt. Kenya region is on the verge of collapse due to what industry players term as a failure by lending institutions to advance loans to the working class.
According to a finding by Capital Business, contractors and suppliers of building materials are lamenting lack of loans, which has negative impacted their business.
The construction stakeholders say the move could ultimately cripple the Jubilee Government agenda of ensuring Kenyans have access to affordable housing.
Ndegwa Mureithi a contractor in Nyeri says that following the decline, he has been forced to retain only a skeleton staff of three workers as opposed to other times when he employs over one hundred workers.
“We have been badly hit by COVID-19. Under normal circumstances, we would be constructing one hundred houses, however, we are doing only three this time. We are therefore asking the government to intervene” said Mureithi.
Mureithi who operates Stone Centre in Chaka, Kieni constituency says that many of his clients on inquiry says that they have been denied financial assistance.
“Many of our potential clients come but when we follow up they are saying that banks are not willing to offer them loans since they are on half salary and the risk is too high” said Mureithi.
Mureithi pledged with te government to intervene and ensure the sector does not collapse.
Nyeri CEC in charge of Land, Housing and Physical Planning Kwai Wanjaria stated that in the months of April, May and June they only received 132 applications of development plans compared to over 300 applications the same period last year.
“We as a department have noted a huge decline in the construction sector first of all few people are applying for approval of plans and even those that do they are yet to commence” says Wanjaria.