Some counties have not employed a single structural engineer.
The collapse of part of a morgue under construction in Vihiga County brings to the fore the need to engage registered and licensed engineers in construction work.
The Institution of Engineers of Kenya and the Engineers Board of Kenya are saddened by the loss of one life in the said incident that occurred on April 25, and extend our condolences to the bereaved family. We wish a quick recovery to all the 11 persons who were reported to have been injured.
We note that in a similar incident in February, a section of slab of a ward under construction at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital collapsed under construction.
These incidents indicate a pattern of poor construction work in counties. Our own findings are that counties have not engaged qualified and registered engineers to design and supervise building structures in compliance with the law and the building code. Indeed, some counties do not have a single registered structural engineer in their employment.
All building plans are approved at the planning departments in the counties in compliance with the Physical and Land Use Planning Act. Counties should also comply with the building code. These approvals need to be done by registered and licensed structural engineers with a current licence from EBK. The engineers should also undertake regular inspections to make sure the quality of construction works is not compromised.
Where counties do not have internal capacity, they are encouraged to outsource these services and engage registered and licensed engineers as consultants to carry out the designs, design reviews for approval, and undertake regular inspections.
We urge all counties to engage qualified engineers to avoid these unnecessary collapses of buildings leading to the loss of lives and investment.
Eng. Erastus K. Mwongera Eng Nathaniel Matalanga
Chair of the Board President
Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK)