Public Works Directorate Staff Meeting with the Cabinet Secretary.

The meeting was held at the Kenya Bankers Sacco auditorium  on Friday, 18th March 2016, where all the Heads, Chiefs, Chairs and Directors gave progress reports of their respective departments.

There were true success stories and challenges across board which led to the realization of the progress and potential as a State Department. It was pointed out that the state department had received a wake up call from the new Principal Secretary who under six months a lot of ripples in positive change are being felt over all sectors, professions, ministries and the general public. All of this was achieved through the guidance of the cabinet Secretary. 

Center left Cabinet and Principal (centre right) Secretary’s with other heads of different sectors in the state departmentAchievements included the National Construction Authority’s training of 1.5 million artisans in five years, the BORAQS- Kenya initiative to focus on research through partnering with KBRC and come with a new center for excellence in their CPD programme. The new Buildings Inspectorate, though new in office, had formulated a programme to inspect the quality, soundness and habitability of all buildings across the nation.

The Structural Engineers had enhanced mobility and eased burden of transport through building of footbridges and through programmes like the LAPSSET. The Kenya Building Research Center has enhanced capacity development through collaborations with NACOSTI and KENNET.

Principal Secretary giving his key address the meeting

The Principal Secretary Prof. Paul Maringa addressed the meeting with his emphasis on integrity, professionalism and gender balance in the State Department. This remarks were later stamped by the Cabinet Secretary in his remarks where he found it prudent to point out that all members of staff should be accountable not only in finances but even in work ethics and time.

Cabinet Secretary address the State DepartmentThe Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi added on that the differences in gender balance across the department is very alarming and urged ladies to ensure that they get the professional qualifications to sustain a competitive process during selection of different job posts.The meeting was adjourned at noon after a question and answer session from the members of the department.

IQSK Meeting Held at Hilton Hotel, Nairobi

IQSK MEETING HELD AT HILTON HOTEL, NAIROBI

The meeting of all stakeholders in the Quantity Surveying profession was held in Hilton Hotel on 16th March 2016 at 9am. Founded in 1994 with the aim of increasing professionalism, training and regulation in the quantity surveying industry, IQSK was happy to state some of the achievements it had like the sponsoring of over forty students through their education and the joint programme with BORAQS-Kenya in the CPD programme of training to enhance efficiency and quality, numerous involvements in Public Private Partnerships mostly in the real estate industry in Kenya, the Standard Gauge Railway, LAPPSET involvements and many more.

The Principal Secretary graced the occasion and pointed out the need of gender balance in the professional industry thus a gender policy document to be enacted. The quantity surveying profession is one of the drivers of the economy which if well driven would go a long way in boosting our country’s economy, increasing GDP and creation of employment.

Part of the stakeholders attending the meeting
Part of the stakeholders attending the meeting

The new dispensation of devolution should be embraced by such a profession and a national presence felt through all counties. A roadmap program is to be drafted to understand our value in development in the counties.

It was noted that there have been emerging challenges in the industry brought about by education diversity. A guide was needed so that training trends are changed from being objective to market-oriented trend which is the true auditor of professional curriculum.

There was need for expansion, growth and collaborations with cross border partnership especially in young countries like Rwanda and despite the restrictions of the Kenyan Cap 525 there was assured intervention and assistance in coming up with a new contract document in line with current trends.

It was noted that there was need to identify members who will work as drivers of change in the IQSK team

The chair of the Kenya Green Building Society brought in a new workable concept enhancing architecture, solar lighting and water recycling and it was noted that green building technology significantly reduces the negative impact of development in the society. Building maintenance is another key aspect all of us need to focus on and the main area that the green building technology focuses on are maintenance, indoor environmental quality, monitoring energy, transport sector, water management, use of building materials, land use and ecology, innovations in the industry and the socio-economic changes brought about by buildings.

Farewell Party for the Retired Staff from the Electrical and Mechanical Department

On Friday 1st April 2016 the State Department hosted a farewell party for retired staff at the MoW Club in South C. The retired staff are
Eng. N.N. Onimbo,(38yrs of service)
Eng. E. W. Kirabui (36yrs of service),
Mr. S. O. Ngoko (26yrs of service),
Ms. Isabella Nunda(35yrs of service) Mr. P. N. Njunge (40yrs of service).

The function was graced by the Principal Secretary, the Director of Administration, the Works Secretary and Heads of Departments.

400 buildings in Nairobi unsafe for human occupation

The Buildings Inspectorate in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has marked more than 400 buildings in Nairobi unsafe for human occupation.

A breakdown of a building audit conducted by the Inspectorate shows that, more than half of the 2,260 buildings evaluated in selected estates in Nairobi between January and February, are in “very urgent” need of inspection.

Only 884 structures are considered safe for stay compared to 471 houses that have been deemed unfit for habitation and warrant critical inspection.

A staggering 217 buildings need to be attended to “immediately” and have been marked very dangerous for tenancy, while astounding 688 structures need to be “urgently” investigated.

Moses Nyakiongora, secretary to the Inspectorate, told People Daily that the buildings have weak concrete, while bulk of the structures are standing on unstable forms, have inadequate compacting, flawed design as well low-strength to sustain their longevity — and are in danger of collapse if not attended to.

“Most of these buildings have weak concrete finishing and lack essential facilities such as fire escape, poor sewerage disposal, no ventilators, narrow stair-cases and poor lighting, among others,” said Nyakiongora.

The audit suggests that residents of Eastlands, Thika Road, Baba Dogo and Dagoretti are staring at death as most buildings around those localities have unstable buildings and risk collapsing.

Approximately 243 buildings in Huruma and Umoja alone need very urgent inspection with 85 structures classified “immediately”.

Property owners are taking advantage of the prevailing housing shortage to expose Kenyans to imminent dangers by putting up substandard structures, according to the Inspectorate.

“Some greedy developers are using short-cuts to construct buildings in a rush to make quick returns without following due diligence. Others put up several floors against the recommended floors,” said Nyakiongora, adding that the directorate will in the coming months roll out another comprehensive building audit on all buildings across the country starting with Mombasa and Kisumu.

Cases of collapsing buildings have been on the rise in recent years. Statistics indicate that close to 100 people have been killed in buildings debris, and more than 290 injured since 2006.

Going forward the Inspectorate is hopeful a draft policy it has developed currently at the Attorney General’s office will help solve some of the grave issues affecting the sector.

The draft policy will, among other key issues, seek to impose a clean bill of health certificate to all property owners before they rent out the premises.

The bill is expected to be ready by June.

Article by by Steve Umidha @steveumidha – People Daily pg. 18 22/3/2016

Official Opening Of Kenyatta University Riverside Staff Houses

TALKING NOTES DURING OFFICIAL OPENING OF RIVERSIDE STAFF HOUSES,

Kenyatta University on Monday, 14 March, 2016 officially opened its Riverside Staff Housing project. This complex comprising of 60 housing units in blocks of flats rising up to 5 storeys has adequate infrastructural facilities, play areas, recreational and parking facilities. It was constructed over a period of two years using internally generated resources and is aimed at improving staff welfare through provision of housing.

Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa unveils a plaque marking official opening of KU Riverside Staff Houses
Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa unveils a plaque marking official opening of KU Riverside Staff Houses

 

Speaking at the official opening, Principal Secretary-State Department of Public Works, Prof. (Arch.) Paul Mwangi Maringa, who was the Chief Guest, acknowledged that the development would increase access to decent housing as provided for in the Constitution of Kenya. He further reiterated the Government’s commitment of realizing well planned and maintained housing with necessary supportive infrastructure and social amenities for all Kenyans. He thanked the University Management led by the Vice Chancellor and the University Council for augmenting Government effort in provision of housing.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olive Mugenda and members of Management at the newly opened KU Riverside Staff Houses
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olive Mugenda and members of Management at the newly opened KU Riverside Staff Houses

While the Constitution of Kenya entitles every person a  social right to accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation(Article 43, 1(b)) and  the Employment Act, 2007 requires employers to provide their employees with  reasonable housing accommodation (Article 31.(1), the Government, in its long term development blue-print, the Kenya Vision 2030, and through the second  Medium Term Plan  of implementation of this Vision (MTP II) envisagesAdequate and Decent Housing in a Sustainable Environment”

Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa plants a commemorative tree marking official opening of KU Riverside Staff Houses
Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa plants a commemorative tree marking official opening of KU Riverside Staff Houses

He informed the guests that the emphasis of the second MTP with respect to housing is:

  1. Have in place a sound policy and legal framework for rational planning. To this end, the Government has developed or initiated the following:
    • National Housing Policy,2004-Under implementation
    • Estate Management and Maintenance Policy, 2012-Pending adoption by Parliament
    • National slum upgrading and prevention Policy-Draft
    • Sectional Properties Act, 1987-Enacted
    • The Physical Planning Act, Cap 286, 1986-Enacted
    • Built Environment Bill, 2011- Pending enactment
    • Landlord and Tenant Bill, 2007-Pending enactment
    • Housing Bill, 2014-Pending enactment
  2. Adequate housing development and management using affordable technology; and
  3. Sustainable urbanization.

 Further, he highlighted the following key challenges in the housing sector:

  1. High population growth v/s housing outputs per annum

Noting that Kenya’s population stood at 43 Million in 2014 with an annual growth of 2.7% per annum i.e. additional 1.3 Million persons per year, he cautioned that housing development has not been congruent to this growth and that interventions needed to be sought to address the imminent housing deficit.

  1. Rapid urbanization

In 1999, only 19% of Kenya’s population was urban. However, by 2009, this proportion had risen to 32% and is projected to be in excess of 50% by year 2030. This not only calls for increased investment in urban housing but also opening up new areas for housing development, decentralization and investment in innovative technologies, knowledge and methods of housing development.

  1. High cost of financing housing development

He observed that the uptake of loans and advances in the construction sector has risen over the years to Ksh. 80.4 Billion in 2014. With this, he also noted that cost of credit has not only been unstable over years but also on a general upward trajectory to an average of 17% in 2014.

Chief Guest, Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa cuts the tape marking official opening of KU Riverside Staff Houses
Chief Guest, Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa cuts the tape marking official opening of KU Riverside Staff Houses

He reported that the Government, as an employer, has initiated a Civil Servants Housing Scheme Fund to address housing challenges amongst Civil Servants. This fund is administered through two arrangements as follows:

  1. Tenant-purchase basis at concessionary rate (5%) with maximum repayment period 20 Under this, 656 housing units in Ngara (Nairobi), 62 units in Kileleshwa, 50 units in Kilimani have been developed for occupation by civil servants. A further 250 units are under construction in Kisumu
  2. Loans to civil servants on purchase-or-construct terms. He reported that the beneficiary gets 90% financing, repayable in 20 years maximum at 5% p.a. on reducing balance. So far, Ksh. 3.7 Billion has been disbursed to over 720 civil servants. In addition, the reviewed mortgage scheme for civil servants will upscale the loan limits to between Ksh.4 Million (Job Group A) and Ksh.20 Million (Job group U)
  1. Low investment in housing

He noted that private developers concentrate in high end markets due to the attributable returns from that section of the market. This leaves the low-end market unattended to. To intervene, the Government has embarked on a programme aimed at encouraging housing development, upgrading of slums and improvement informal settlements with the following results:

  • Installed physical infrastructure to open up land for Housing development(trunk sewer, access roads, water reticulation)
  • Slum upgrading and informal settlement improvement programme:
  • In Kibera, Soweto “A”, 822 housing units have been developed
  • In Mariguini slums 2,000 units, Kibera Soweto “B”-3,072 units are to be developed
  • Engaged Public-Private-Partnerships in development of low cost housing- Starehe (6,036 units), Parkroad (1,800 units) and Shauri Moyo (1,500 units) Negotiations are at advanced stage
  • Government expenditure on housing development increased progressively from Ksh. 2.9 Billion in FY 2010/11, Ksh. 3.2 Billion in FY 2011/12, to Ksh. 3.5 Billion in FY 2012/13 and Ksh. 6.1Billion in FY 2014/15
  1. High cost of building materials:

He reported that materials costs constitute 40% of construction costs and that these costs have risen steadily over the years. To circumvent this challenge, he proposed progressive adoption of appropriate building technologies and materials e.g. Industrial Building Systems (IBS), Expanded Polystyrene Systems (EPS) and interlocking stabilized earth bricks

 

Geospatial Data Centre Handed Over

Group Photo

Spatial data plays a vital role in developmental activities, whether natural resource management or Socio-Economic development. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) facilitate access, sharing and dissemination of spatial data necessary for complex decision-making processes of the future. The users, suppliers and value adders
to spatial information are increasing every day with diversity of applications aimed at harnessing the economic potential locked in spatial data (UNCEA, 2001). The framework that facilitates, coordination, exchange, accessibility and sharing of spatial data amongst users within the spatial community is spatial data infrastructure (SDI) (Crompvoets et al., 2004).

open door

On 11th March 2016, The State Department of Public Works formerly handed over Geo-Spatial Data Centre, which will house the spatial data infrastructure (SDI) among other functions. The Director of Survey Caesar Mbaria was on hand to take over the building on behalf of the State Department of Land.

IMAG0087
Director of Survey Caesar Mbaria (center) being briefed by Arch. L. L. Kibisu (left), Ramesh Vaghjiyani looks on.

The project is a new administration block for the Ministry of Land, Housing & Urban Development’s unit called Survey of Kenya based in Ruaraka, Nairobi. The building will house 5000 square meters of office space comprising of office space, a conference hall, a lecture theatre, a Geotechnical Information Systems (GIS) lab, an open-air cafeteria, a state-of-the-art document and map press room, and basement storage area. The cost of the project is slightly under one billion Kenya shillings. The construction of the building was to take three years beginning in May 2011 and the completing on May 2014. The main contractor is Vaghjiyani Enterprises Ltd.

Opening ceremony of the 3rd CIBEX and SCALEX East Africa Trade Fair and Exhibition

Cabinet Secretary-Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi and Principal Secretary-State Department of Public Works Prof. Arch. Paul Mwangi Maringa on Tuesday, 1 March, 2016 graced the opening ceremony of the third CIBEX and SCALEX East Africa Trade Fair and Exhibition.

CIBEX_Coverage_ (11)
Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi in a group photo with all the speakers

The trade fair which runs through to 3rd March, 2016 is organized through partnerships in infrastructure development is aptly themed “Building East Africa’s Future”. The fair is a collaborative effort of 23 partners drawn from the East African Community, the Governments of Kenya and Germany, private sector from Kenya and Germany and the media. At least 35 firms representing construction, energy, logistics and the media sectors are showcasing their core mandates and merchandise.

 

CIBEX_Coverage_ (15)
Some of the heavy equipment on display outside

Noting that exhibition has a long history in sharing and exchanging technology and knowledge, the Principal Secretary welcomed the exhibitors and observed that Europe is renowned for multi-cultural and international presence and excellence. He thus hailed their role in business development not only in Kenya, but also in the region and in Africa. He emphasized the value of infrastructure in opening up the economy.

CIBEX_Coverage_ (12)
Visit to one of the exhibition stalls

State Department of Public Works as custodian of the construction industry in Kenya is a principal consumer of the technology, experience and know-how that will be showcased during exhibition. He highlighted the role of State Department as:  Works Policy and planning; research; and setting and regulating standards for the construction industry in Kenya. This mandate is realized in partnership with its surrogates: National Construction Authority (NCA); Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (BORAQS); and the Buildings Inspectorate.

CIBEX_Coverage_ (13)
Prof. Kaimenyi & Prof. Maringa share their opinions on an exhibited product

In his keynote address, the Cabinet Secretary thanked the organizers for creating a platform for sharing information and best practice and urged Kenyan industry players to learn and apply the technologies, synergies and partnerships being showcased in the fair. He welcomed innovations that would help the construction industry keep up with contemporary practice; and encouraged investors to explore the opportunity presented by the profound infrastructure development stance that Kenya aspires in realization of the Vision 2030.

CIBEX East Africa – the international trade show for Construction, Infrastructure, Building and Energy

CIBEX East Africa is proud to announce the visit of S.E. Professor Jacob Kaimenyi, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works. He was the chief guest of CIBEX East Africa 2016 and inaugurated the show.

Highlights from the Trade Fair:

Further details and programme can be obtained on the CIBEX Website

Growth And Creativity In The Construction Industry

 AAK Awards Of Excellence – Dinner on 18th February  2016

Talking Notes by: Prof. Arch. Paul M. Maringa (PhD) Corp, Arch. Maak, Mkip,
Principal Secretary, State Department of Public Works

PREAMBLE:

Awards promote our national aspirations for transformation catalyzing:

  • Excellence in professional service provision;
  • Responsible environmental management;
  • Competitive enterprise development; and
  • Social cohesion

Awards renovate the natural cycle of creativity of:

  • Work and play; and
  • A blending of the unusual common patterns and rhythms.

Awards point direction to future higher horizons that:

  • Help youth to stand on the shoulders of their heroes and thereby aim higher and further

Awards would ideally anchor the  concept of image-ability – the emotional meaning of Architecture; promoting a built environment that resonates with our emotional psyche is shaped by cultural, spatial function contexts.

Awards should ideally acknowledge mentors, and for our purposes today, just to name a few; Practitioners: Dangliesh Marshialls, Jimmy Archer, Waweru Senior, James Kimathi, Stanley Kibathi, David Reuben, David Mutiso and Daniel Mutiso. Lecturers: Prof. Kurulz Vavkey, Dr. Khan Kalander Chayz, Prof. Eric Mettert and Arch. Bruce Kreazer.

Maawy Presents Award
PS Mariamu elMaawy, presents an award to Planning Systems

Some Thoughts for Consideration – Discussion Notes

A. Members to embrace the concept of peer review for auditing among practitioners based on individual targets and mutually accepted standards of practice as well as growth projections for the profession. Such would be:

  1. Adoption of contemporary and futuristic methods of practices;
  2. Institutional arrangements and mergers to promote increased regional and global competitiveness;
  3. Absorption of emerging design and I.T. production technologies;
  4. Mentoring profiles of firms for younger, smaller firms and apprentices and students on practical attachment for purposes of boosting succession management in the profession;
  5. Gender inclusion in the market place guided by clear gender audits in firms and subsequent gender policies.

B. Members urged to support practical initiatives for peer recognition that would include and not be limited to:-

  1. Setting up a Hall of fame in well chosen spots that are visible to the practitioners and public and at a possible AAK Museum or offices;
  2. The hall of fame to pay tribute to retired and retiring Architects who have mentored current generations and whose contribution to the profession is noteworthy;
  3. Broadening the Awards of excellence to capture creativity in the entire spectrum of the profession, vis: old, young, students, interns, practitioners, individuals, firms, women etc;
  4. Hall of fame to also capture in plaques the past office holders of important dockets in the fraternity (BORAQS, AAK, School of Architecture).

C. Members to give attention to International Bench-marking and have firms sign-up to ISO-certification where possible.

Maringa Presents Award
PS Prof. Paul Maringa presents award to Beglin Woods

D. Peer information sharing platforms to assume a more intrusive dimension, vis:

  1. More regular and wider rage of journals, with increasingly thought provoking articles and features of innovation and more inclusive, diverse contribution across the spectrum of the fraternity;
  2. Journals to multiply to embrace the practice and the academic;
  3. More public forums aligned to prevailing government structure of central government and the county governments, public and private sectors and civil society;
  4. Websites that link up to other principal players in the industry, vis-a-vis : IQSK, BORAQS, ISK, KIP, Public Works, Manufacturers, NCA, Contractor Associations, Building Exhibitors etc for more active and wider information sharing.

E. Members to encourage creativity through:

  1. Inclusion of radical contributions to discourse by the youth;
  2. Practical innovation in firm management, service provision and design approaches;
  3. Action research which typified Hassan Fathy’s life and work “Architecture for the poor”;
  4. Partnerships beyond our borders that will infuse peculiar thought and processes from outside;
  5. Small casement in form of active regular discourse that is guided by well structured themes in meetings, learning environments and the media (TV and Newspapers) with selected thematic groups and leaders;
  6. Fraternity to adopt a decisive market orientation and therefore to:
    1. Clearly identify its market – rich and poor
    2. Clearly profile its market with respect to client preferences;
    3. Compulsively engage its market in order to guide it to its desired goals;
    4. To endear itself to the nation through visible community service by individual members group, firms and the entire Association.
  7. DO NOT FORGET THE POOR!!!

    Please visit the link below for the complete list of Awards:

2016 Awards of Excellence in Architecture