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The government has set new standards that manufacturers of building materials must meet following the increase in cases of building collapses across the country.

Speaking to the media on Friday April 1, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Chief Executive Bernard Njiraini clarified that the move will see some of the basic materials used in the construction upgraded in quality.

Materials affected include structural steel, cement and tiles.

A collage of images of the construction building that collapsed and leaned on a residential apartment in Kinoo on Saturday March 5, 2022. (1).jpg

The KEBS boss noted that the use of substandard materials was behind the collapse of buildings in the country.

It remains to be established how the changes will impact commodity prices, but Kenyans will build more durable and safer homes.

“We have a very elaborate way of protecting consumers against any manufacturer who tries to reduce the quality of the materials they make.

“KEBS has a product certification system that requires manufacturers to establish quality control measures within their manufacturing facility,” he said.

Housing Permanent Secretary Charles Hinga said the move was necessary given the growing number of collapsed buildings in metropolitan Nairobi.

The government’s decision comes just weeks after an apartment building in Kinoo, Kiambu country collapsed while it was under construction.

“Building collapse isn’t just shoddy. If you’re going to build on pasty or riverine land intended for drainage, we have a challenge if someone gets approval.

“We are strengthening these institutions and we have created the National Building Inspectorate (NBI) which basically brings everyone together,” PS Hinga said.

Additionally, in a notice in the Official Gazette published on April 1, it was announced that the Ministry of Transport Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works is seeking to introduce new regulations to promote building safety.

“The main objective of the Building Code is to promote the order, safety and health of people in or around construction works. It aims to improve control and encourage best practices in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings to provide greater assurance to users.

“Implementation of the Building Code will result in the prevention of adverse effects on human health resulting from the application of building methods, products, design, construction and maintenance,” reads in the opinion of the Gazette.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (Red Cap) inspecting the construction of the James Gichuru Jn - Rironi road in August 2020.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia (Red Cap) inspecting the construction of the James Gichuru Jn – Rironi road in August 2020.