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Kenya reports sluggish construction industry as Covid-19 infections surge

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Kenya’s construction industry has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since the first case was reported in March, a new report has shown.

The report dubbed, ‘The Status of the Built Environment Report’ for January to June 2020,   by Architectural Association of Kenya on released Tuesday, shows that projects have been delayed and in some cases halted altogether.

Implications of the pandemic have not only resulted in the delays in project progress but had resulted to suspension of some ongoing works,” notes the report.

Consultants were also increasingly finding it difficult to obtain construction supplies and materials with another 31.28% of the respondents reporting that the period had also seen an escalation in difficulty of obtaining development approvals.

The AAK survey indicated that unless a substantive economic package is developed
urgently, there was potential for a permanent impairment of a large section of the construction industry with 37.93% of the respondents estimating that they stood to
lose up to 50% of their monthly revenues.

With built environment professionals already reeling under severe financial stress due to the declining economic performance of the industry over the past few years, the 32.18% of the respondents indicating that they stood to lose well over 75% of their monthly revenues, points to an urgent need to render immediate and sizeable support to the industry.

In addition to fears of there being less demand for their services, construction industry
professionals reported that they were already experiencing increased costs in project
execution due to the need for adherence to safety standards and prevention of
virus transmission.

Due to the multiple-choice nature of the question, 65.75% of the respondents reported that they expected delays in payments of works done while another 56.91% reported that they expected a suspension of the on-going contracts to a later date.

“As a global recession looms, it is important that we look inwards to the
solutions the sector requires and this is Buy local Build Local in our construction
projects,” says the report.

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