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National Construction Authority urges contractors to be accountable

Regional Coordinator for The National Construction Authority (NCA) in Kiambu Eng Meshack Otieno has urged contractors to be keen in ensuring accountability in all the projects they undertake.

He urged contractors to partner with NCA in order to ensure compliance on the sensitive stages that tend to arise when putting up structures.

Speaking during a one-day seminar for both existing and newly registered contractors at a hotel in Kiambu, the Coordinator said there is need for close workmanship between the engineers and contractors to ensure safe and stable buildings.

“Contractors play a significant role in ensuring building safety in the construction industry but this has seen concerns being raised especially when it comes to collapse of buildings not only in Kiambu but also in other Counties,” he said

As a body mandated to regulate the construction industry and coordinate its development, country-wide, Otieno said it was imperative that they all work together to ensure compliance when it comes to matters building and construction.

Engineer Dr Samuel Charagu from the National Building Inspectorate department, while presenting a comprehensive report mentioned poor quality of concrete used, sub-standard building stones, missing services of qualified professionals, poor concrete mix designs, overloading a structure and poor workmanship as some of factors that have been contributing to structural failures.

“All these factors are significant as their adherence promotes well and safe established buildings while absence of the same promotes vulnerability of the workers onsite, surrounding neighborhood and mostly the occupant’s life,” warned Eng Charagu.

During the discussions, contractors were discouraged from being passive from the sites they are supposed to be supervising and urged to be fully present on sites, monitor each and every activity being executed, since according to Eng Charagu, in case of any failures, they are the first culprits.

“As structural safety is crucial, we encourage material testing and mix designs to be done before actual works commence, avoiding digging of shallow wells under or close to buildings, adhering to the acceptable range of concrete mix quality and more so consult a qualified and professional engineer, contractor registered under NCA website,” he advised.

Eng Charagu went further and cautioned the contractors to do their work in a responsible manner with high level of professionalism and avoid being ignorant or arrogant.

“Halt those ongoing constructions especially when the ‘little’ kind of cracks are noticed on the respective ongoing sites and also consult other fellow professionals in the industry,” he emphasized.

The one-day seminar was running under the theme ‘Structural Failures Mitigation Approaches by Contractors’. Participants (contractors) at the event included those qualified and registered under the Engineers Board of Kenya.

By Jackline Kidaha

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