The Jua Kali artisans in the building and construction sector have been given notice to seek accreditation from the
National Construction Authority (NCA).
According to the Upper Eastern Regional Coordinator (RC) of the National Construction Authority who oversees operations in Isiolo, Marsabit and Samburu Counties, Festus Mariera the accreditation would be free of charge.
Mariera urged all contractors and artisans working in the construction industry within the region to ensure that they are accredited, adding that the authority was now giving free accreditation within NCA offices and at Huduma Centres.
The RC made the remarks on Tuesday in Isiolo town during a meeting with contractors and artisans in the industry drawn from the region.
He asked them to take advantage of the free offer since they will be required to pay a fee of Sh.1000 for artisans and the site inspectors, Sh. 2,000 for accreditation services after the free certification period lapses on June 30, this year.
Mariera noted that it was important for all workers in the construction industry to be accredited in order to weed out unqualified personnel who could be masquerading as skilled workers from construction sites.
He said that the move will ensure quality work and reduce incidents where houses either collapse or are brought down by the authority due to poor workmanship.
“Harsh penalties on those who fail to comply were in the offing, just as it is the case with contractors,” the coordinator said.
Contractors and workers in the Small and Medium Enterprises in Isiolo also decried the trend by both the County government and private developers to give contracts to foreigners, especially the Chinese, leaving out local merchants.
At the same time, the Chairperson, Isiolo Contractors’ Association, Ismail Galma noted that the County
government was currently undertaking six major projects, including the construction of Isiolo market, a stadium, the County headquarters and the Ngarendare bridge and all the projects being handled by foreign companies.
Galma complained that the contractors even sourced building material from Nairobi instead of promoting local business people for economic empowerment.
He argued that skilled masons, carpenters, welders, plumbers and electricians have also been ignored, with the contractors opting to work with people from other parts of the country.
By Victoria Nkatha/ Lydia Njenga/David Nduro