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.

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


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.

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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

Construction Regulations and Compliance in Kenya

The Kenya Property Developers Association (KPDA) held a session with the theme ‘Construction Regulations and Compliance in Kenya‘ sponsored by National Construction Authority (NCA) and PG Bison. KPDA chairman Hamish Govani gave the welcoming remarks. A progress report on compliance to the NCA regulations was given by Eng. Raymond Karani – Ag. General Manager, registration and compliance.

State department P.S. Prof. Paul Maringa promised the KPDA members of improving regulations and preparing for a One-Stop shop for all construction regulations and permitting.

Courtesy call at JKUAT by the State Department of Public Works in the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development

The Principal Secretary of the State Department of Public Works, Prof. Arch. Paul Maringa, accompanied by:

  • The Executive Director, National Construction Authority (NCA), Arch Daniel Manduku,
  • Chairman of the Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (BORAQS), Arch Nathan Kureba, OGW,
  • Chairman of the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya (IQSK), QS. Andrew Mandere,
  • Chairman of the Architectural Association of Kenya, Arch. Gatheca Waweru,

paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor Jomo Kenya University of Agriculture and Technology, Prof. Mabel O. Imbuga, EBS.

The PS, discussed several issues regarding the construction industry and how the State Department, Academia and Other bodies that are affiliated to the State Department (NCA, BORAQS, IQSK, AAK, Building Inspectorate) can enhance collaboration and interaction in areas affecting them. One of the concerns he spotlighted was the mild boldness, positivity and synergy in the way public entities engage stakeholders.

Arch. Waweru Gatheca noted that there was improved interaction between AAK and the State Department and that he was wide open to deeper collaboration with the government.

  1. Andrew Mandere commended the new style of governance being witnessed at the State Department and was looking forward to interacting with the new face of Public Works. IQSK was also in close contact with the University.

Arch. Daniel Manduku commented that the Authority is seeking ways of involving the University by offering short-term CPD’s to its registered contractors. They have also embarked on identifying critical artisans’ skills that can be certified through NCA. On Research, he identified the following four areas in which NCA is actively engaged in:

  • Planning for to have a forum in November to share research ideas and innovations with all construction stakeholders.
  • Roll out of an agenda for various thematic research areas that have already secured funding.
  • Enhancement of mutual technical and training cooperation between the University and the NCA. In this regard, the recent award of the ‘Primary School Laptop Project’, projecting a positive image of the university as a competitive anchor for technical service provision nationally was a good example to build up on).
  • JKUAT students on attachment at the NCA (20 at the moment). This complement can be raised after some necessary consultations with the University administration.

Eng. Mbiu Kimani, the Acting Works Secretary at the State Department of Public Works, noted that the new PS had been very active from the very first day he joined the State Department. He was also satisfied with the school’s curricula and is keen to see that more students are invited for internship. He was looking forward to continued interaction with the University on various projects.

Arch. Nathan Kureba stated that BORAQS is in touch with all training institutions including JKUAT. He confirmed that hereon, collaboration between BORAQS and the training providers such as JKUAT will be streamlined to align to both the mandate of the institutions and demand-driven and therefore market relevant curricula.  He further declared that CAP 525 was currently undergoing revision in order to more ably embrace emerging professions in the industry such as Landscape Architecture, Construction Management, Environmental Planning and Interior Design. Technicians and Surveyors would also be captured in the revised Act in a new orientation of lifelong learning; mentorship and continuous professional improvement that would eventually see all of such semi-skilled para-practitioners grow into fully licensed and registered professionals. Architect Kureba finally observed that project management of government projects by private practitioners has at times been wanting for lack of familiarity government policies and procedures.

In closing the PS, zeroed in on the Kenya Building Research Centre (KBRC) another surrogate of the State Department of Public Works and how it was being synergized with international partners to elevate the centre to modern standards of innovation collation and dissemination. He advanced the persuasion that training should ideally be a collaboration between suppliers and consumers and be market driven rather than depending solely on a precedent based and historical system. He gave an example of the model used in Germany, where training is done by the industry players. This type of a Demand driven, Competency based approach to training is now in vogue world over with good results in Asia, Oceania, Europe America and Africa (the latter particularly in Namibia, Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa).  Further, Professor Maringa indicated that education should not remain a preserve of the intellectual high achievers exemplary well-endowed.  Rather, it should encompass the entire Kenyan population in a drive for life-long learning and continuous self-improvement, with multiple opportunities for vertical (career advancement) and horizontal mobility (cross specialization shifts). This method of skills development or training allows all persons of all ages to get an education regardless of their training and educational background.

On BORAQS, the PS reiterated that the board would hereon not solely vet the curricula of education institutions but rather act as the driving partner.  He illustrated the value of a market driven inclusive approach to training design with the results of a recently concluded joint seminar of NCA, the State Department of Vocational Training and industry that was able to increase the current complement of 5 occupations of trades so far recognized to 52, complete with competency standards and assessment criteria.

The PS then advised that a Taskforce be created out of this meeting to guide the partnership between the State Department of Public Works, its surrogates (NCA, Building Inspectorate, BORAQS), affiliates (IQSK, AAK) and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) with a clear mandate for inclusive participation and stakeholder involvement and a specific market driven orientation that would raise skills training and production standards, foster innovation and research and uplift the profile of all participating institutions in the construction industry.

The session ended with a vote of thanks by Arch. Prof. Bernard Otoki Moirongo, Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance.

Consultative Forum on the National Urban Development Policy (NUDP)

CS & PSs

“The economic and social future of Kenya depends on us making our towns work. This can be achieved through commitment, enthusiasm and access to opportunities to all Kenyans.” The Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development Prof. Kaimenyi said this during the Consultative Forum on the National Urban Development Policy (NUDP) held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

Forum Delegates

The CS further added that the State Department of Housing and Urban Development will join hands with the County Governments in order to achieve the key objectives towards implementing the Urban Development Policies.

The NUDP illustrates different responsibilities that National and County governments will play in guiding sustainable urban transition and development in Kenya. On that premise, the coordination and consultation across the two tiers of government and across counties is crucial for the successful formulation and implementation of the NUDP