NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 30 – The Housing Ministry says it has completed drafting a new Building Code to promote professionalism in construction of buildings in the country.
Cabinet Minister Soita Shitanda said on Wednesday that the code would ensure only qualified contractors, engineers and architects are hired and registered.
“Issues of professionalism are currently lacking in Kenya; anyone can be a contractor! The code will require all contractors, engineers, architects to be registered, and they have to be professionals,” he explained.
Mr Shitanda said the proposed code would make it easy to establish who takes responsibility in case of irregularities such as collapse of buildings.
The Minister further said the amended code would also be seeking to harmonise existing construction laws in the country through establishment of a Planning and Building Authority.
“Right now, building laws are scattered in very many statutes in our law, in fact they can be found in 103 of them,” he said.
Mr Shitanda said the proposals also requires new buildings to be constructed in line with new modern requirements, and to cater for the handicapped, observe fire and other disaster precautions and adhere to other safety standards.
The Minister was speaking ahead of the UN Habitat Day celebrated on the first Monday of every October.
He said Kenya will mark the day in Mombasa and his Ministry had prepared activities to match this year’s theme which is ‘Planning Our Urban Future’
Children’s competitions to capture urban planning, clean up exercises, tree planting, and exhibitions are some of the events the Minister said will take place to mark the World Habitat Day.
UN Habitat Day was introduced in 1985 to reflect on successes and challenges in providing shelter and similar basic services. It also seeks to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
The day is also a reminder to governments and other stakeholders to take actions aimed at improving housing and human settlements.
Kenya was among the countries making efforts to improve housing with the relocation of Kibera slum residents to upgraded housing units.