Nairobi — The new National Construction Authority was launched on Wednesday and said it plans to start its operation by creating awareness to all stakeholders about its mandate in the construction industry.
The chairman of the Authority's board Ken Onditi insisted that they will strictly enforce the existing laws to bring sanity in the sector.
He said the year-long sensitization campaign will ensure no stakeholder has an excuse for disobeying the given rules.
"Anybody who wants to build must come to the National Construction Authority offices, and must get the Authority's clearance certificate and without the certificate, you will not build," emphasised the new chairman.
The Authority will be in charge of registering all contractors after thorough scrutiny to ensure they have the required capacity to carry out any construction both in private and public projects.
"We will import the list of registration from the ministry of public works, and we will scrutinise the people who are not registered properly, because we realise that this is what is causing a lot of buildings to collapse in Kenya," Onditi added.
"We have bee given the whip to whip the errant contractors."
He says the Authority will not only regulate contractors, but also monitor projects being carried out by various government institutions to ensure there is no misuse of funds.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who launched the Authority however called on the board not to become another 'non-tariff barrier' in the industry by delaying the clearance certificates.
He also called on the Authority to ensure that government contractors are prudent.
"Don't just rush here to get contracts and you have no capacity; in the end jobs are not being done. Worse of all you are paid for this contract and that is the time to go and marry a second wife and when you go at the construction site workers are on strike because they have not been paid," Odinga cautioned.
The Authority consists of 18 members drawn both from both the private and public sector, including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing, Local Government, and the Roads Ministry.
Others include the Architectural Association of Kenya, Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya, Law Society of Kenya and the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.