The regulatory board of architects and quantity surveyors is seeking to increase fines for rogue members in order to get rid of wayward contractors and quacks from invading the industry as well as control collapse of buildings.
Through a proposed legislation, the board wants the penalty for members whose professional works result into destruction and deaths from poorly constructed buildings by up to Sh1million from the current Sh5, 000.
“The current penalty is too low, we are banking on the revised legislation to help sort out these problems that are traced to quacks masquerading as professionals and rogue contractors who are responsible for shoddy work,” said the board’s chairman Cosmas Maweu, during an ongoing Continuous Professional Development seminar that ends today.
The Board said yesterday that it was optimistic the proposed legislation would be operational soon and that it had represented recommendations to the Attorney General.
The proposals are a awaiting approval of the National Assembly. “Most of the work is nearly complete and upon its conclusion, the new law should pave way for the implementation.
The board will set up an inspectorate to oversee projects being undertaken across the country,” said Moses Nyakiongera, a quantity surveyor in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, who said the enforcement of building laws and regulations has been hampered by an acute lack of technical and supervisory staff.
Lands Ministry acting CS Fred Matiang’i said that the ministry is in the process of beginning a review of Urban and Cities Act in an effort to attract investments in the building and construction industry.
The sector has registered a growth rate of over 400 per cent in the last decade from Sh40billion to Sh200 billion, and continues to witness intensive construction of several public and private building projects and other infrastructure projects.
“The ministry will ensure the country’s construction industry is brought to standards similar to those in other parts of the world and through the board the legislation will seek to curb proliferation of poorly-constructed buildings,” he said.
Data from the ministry shows that over the last two decades Kenya has witnessed unprecedented urban growth which has severely strained the ability of urban administrations to provide adequate professional services to match housing and related infrastructure demands.