Public Works Principal Secretary Prof. Paul Maringa has declared a zero tolerance policy on developers defying of suspension notices across the country. Speaking during a press conference at his office in Nairobi, Prof. Maringa stated that the government will not compromise on non-compliance with the law.
“It is important that we ensure the law is followed in the construction process so that we protect lives and livelihoods. We have developers who have been behaving like they are above the law but today I want them to know that nobody is above the law and that under no circumstances can an illegality be legal,” he said.
Prof. Maringa further urged members of the public to cooperate in the process at their respective levels. “We’ve shared part of the list of notorious contractors and developers so that you in the media can inform the public and so that the guilty can stop pretending they don’t know that they are breaking the law.”
He said that the government would spare developers who put up houses without following due process if the buildings were proved to be structurally sound. “If by chance you had built your structure without following due process, it won’t automatically be demolished; you can apply for regularization through National Construction Authority or even the State Department of Public Works. If your structure is sound, it will be given a clean bill of health and you will not have to hide all the time,” he assured.
The PS revealed that there are currently over 3,000 construction sites that have defied suspension notices by the National Construction Authority, a majority of them being in Nairobi County. Huruma, Githurai and Gachie areas are particularly defiant areas.
Prof. Maringa said of all copies of suspension notices have been shared with the County government, the Kenya Police Service as well as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. “All developers are put on notice that all measures necessary will be taken to ensure they comply with the law. We are working closely with the enforcement agencies to ensure the same,” he added.
NCA Acting Executive Director Eng. Maurice Akech, appealed to all developers to comply with the laws governing the sector, “NCA publishes a list of all construction sites that have defied suspension notices on the Authority’s website to aid transparency when it comes to quality assurance, part of which has been shared by the PS.”
“Majority of all sites that have been suspended do not have a registered contractor, nor the necessary consultants such as the engineers or architects. This is a recipe for disaster, because it means that construction is meant to progress with no supervision, which is what leads to structural collapse. From the list we’ve shared, you can see that majority of the notorious sites are proposed residential developments meant for occupation by members of the public. If we do not act, all these houses pose a threat to potential occupants,” he added.
The Land and Environment Court has been instrumental in assisting the Authority with enforcement, issuing court orders barring developers from proceeding until they have complied with all regulations. NCA is also in the process of amending its enabling Act to enhance enforcement powers.
“The ongoing demolitions are a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to protecting its citizens from shoddy construction,” Prof. Maringa said. “Rest assured we will not rest until full compliance with the relevant legislation is attained.”