Players in the construction and real estate sector need to embrace new industrial building technologies for faster and cost-effective delivery of houses to the nation.

The new technology of building houses using expanded polystyrene panels, which has the government’s approval and backing, has been tested and found to be structurally safe for human habitation.

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Mr James Macharia disclosed that already, the government was constructing 1,850 police houses on a pilot basis using the new technology.

“The first batch of 1,050 houses are well on course for completion and are expected to be ready by the end of January 2017,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by the Principal Secretary four Housing and urban Development Arch Aidah Munano.

This was during a one day workshop on Performance for Results for staff at the Public Service Club in Nairobi. Mr Macharia commended the State Department for Housing and Urban Development for successfully completing most of the flagship projects. Among them are 822 low cost houses in Kibera, Kongowea Market in Mombasa, and a Ksh2 billion Ruiru Sewer project, just to name a few.

He observed that municipal areas in the Nairobi Metropolitan region were now enjoying the services of 29 fire-fighting equipment worth over Ksh150 million.

Mr Macharia was impressed by work undertaken through the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Programme (KISIP), Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP), Kenya Municipal programme (KMP), schools developed under the KfW Programme, Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Programme (NaMSIP) in addition to many projects with direct funding from Government. “This is a clear indication that the government cares for the citizenry,” said the CS.

He noted that the Construction of the 69Km bitumen road in Machakos County that includes Kenol-Kangundo Road and Katumani-Mombasa Road, among others undertaken by Urban and Metropolitan Development directorate had positively impacted communities across the country.

He acknowledged that the National Building Inspectorate and the National Construction Authority had contributed towards improving standards and safety in the construction industry.

Mr Macharia said: “At this point,I wish to urge these two institutions to further strategise on taking operations to a higher level and work out ways to ensure complete safety in the Built Environment.”

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