National Construction Authority on Tuesday, 26th January 2021 hosted a sector based stakeholder breakfast forum at the Boma Inn in Nairobi.
The event saw different agencies in the water sector across the country brought together to discuss pertinent issues affecting the sector, especially as pertaining to compliance with the Authority’s Act and Regulations.
The event was graced by the Principal Secretary State Department of Public Works, Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa, CBS, NCA Board Chairman Qs. David Gaitho, Vice Chairman Eng. Zipporah Rotich and Executive Director Eng. Maurice Akech.
The Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation was represented by the Director, National Water Resources, Mr. Chrispine Juma.
The agencies in attendance included the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, Water Resources Management Authority, Kenya Water Towers Agency, National Irrigation Authority, Kenya Water Institute, Athi Water Works Development Agency, North Rift Valley Water Works Development Agency, Lake Victoria North Water Works Development Agency, Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency, Coast Water Works Development Agency, Tana Water Works Development Agency and the National Water, Harvesting and Storage Authority.
Key on the agenda was sensitization on the Authority’s mandate, project registration and foreign contractor provisions in accordance to the NCA Act and Regulations 2014.
Also addressed was the need for inter-agency cooperation in order to achieve this mandate. The Authority called for cooperation in the engagement of accredited skilled construction workers, the award of projects to contractors according to the contractors’ value limits; and flouting of site safety provisions during implementation of construction projects.
In his address Eng. Akech said, “The cost of non-compliance is deadly, as has been witnessed during incidences such as the collapse of Solai dam in 2018, and other similar failures that have resulted in the loss of life and devastation to the surrounding community.”
“We must preserve the integrity of the built environment by discharging our mandate and responsibilities with the due seriousness they deserve,” he added.
On his part NCA Chairman Qs. David Gaitho stated that collaborative activities such as technical learning tours on water projects be implemented more, in order to build the capacity of contractors and construction workers. The Authority is currently undertaking a similar exercise at Mwache Dam in Kilifi County, after an invitation was extended by the Ministry of Water.
While delivering the key note address, the Principal Secretary Dr. Kihalangwa stated that he was pleased that the call made by NCA was heeded by all present and emphasized the vital need to build capacity in the industry and provide the necessary support to local contractors to ensure their growth.
“We need to make sure that there is adequate skills transfer to local contractors from all the major water projects so that eventually in years to come they can stand on their own and be the ones able to handle advanced undertakings comfortably,” he said. “We are the generation that must see to it that this vision comes to pass.”
This is the third such sector specific stakeholder engagement in the recent past, with NCA already having hosted the Roads and Energy sectors on 23rd November 2020 and 4th December 2020, respectively.
These forums are meant to augment similar ones conducted at the regional level. The Authority is planning to engage other sectors in the coming weeks.