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Science Institute in Konza Technopolis to be completed in June

The Kenya Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) Administration Block is scheduled to be completed in June this year in readiness for admission of students next year.

This was revealed during an inspection tour of the Konza technopolis in Machakos by the Principal Secretary for University Education and Research, Amb Simon Nabukwesi.

Nabukwesi said that the inspection tour of the Konza Technopolis was meant to see the progress of KAIST, which is being constructed by both the Korean and Kenyan government in a bid to enhance bilateral relations.

“Although Covid has delayed us by two years, we have agreed that the administration block will be done in June and launched by the President. We will also come up with adverts for admission of graduate students in June,” said Nabukwesi.

In a meeting with consultants from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science (KAIST) and the BOMI Engineering and Construction Consortium that were contracted to build the institution, the PS said he intended to get a brief on the progress and projections of the project.

Nabukwesi added the purpose of the visit was to find out if everything was in place and if they were getting support and cooperation from the government. He urged the contactors to work around the clock and to catch up on the lost time while improving communication between the consultants and the contractors.

He cautioned that everything has to be done within the set time limit and money well accounted for given that at the end of the financial year any money that will not be utilized will be used for other projects.

“We requested an extension of construction for two years so we urge the contractors to do their very best and catch up on the lost time as they improve on their communication,” noted Nabukwesi. “We are here on behalf of the government to assist and work with you,” he added.

The PS however said there was a bit of structural change that will require time, so the technical team of Engineers and Architects will meet to discuss and come up with viable proposals that will not take them away from the original plan of the construction.

“There is a bit of structural change and adjustments that will require time and incur a little more cost. A team of Engineers and Architects will meet to discuss and come up with viable proposals that will not take us far away from the original structure and original cost of the construction,” said Nabukwesi.

Some of the challenges the consultants from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science noted was that the contractor BOMI had not provided a certificate to enable the consultant to review submitted credentials for the Korean staff on site.

The consultant further pointed out that the contractor has no registered local structure mechanical and technical Engineer on site.

KAIST is a university being constructed in Kenya that is aimed at meeting the shortage of highly skilled Engineers needed in the country in a bid to drive Kenya into an industrialized nation by 2030.

The campus will be constructed on 36 acres in Konza techno city located in Machakos County, with the first batch of students set to start classes in 2023.

It is expected to provide specialized research and training in various leading edge engineering technologies and advanced science fields to help the country modernize speedily.

By Rachael Kilonzo

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