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Engineers board 'not to blame' for collapsed buildings

04 August 2015, 21:29 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) has distanced itself from blame over cases of buildings collapsing in the country and killing innocent Kenyan.

The EBK Chairman, Wanjau Maina who led other members before the National Assembly Education to respond to issues affecting the sector, maintained that landlords are to blame for seeking services of unqualified contractors and disregarding the engineers’ services after meeting the construction permits.

The board claimed that landlords resort to unprofessional contractors who charge less for their services compared to qualified engineers who are dismissed after giving instructions on the buildings’ foundation and the required construction material.   

“We are accused of failing in our work as a result of collapsing buildings but it should be known that people don’t want engineers to take full supervision of structures under construction,” said Eng. Jukius Riungu, EBK member who accompanied his chair before the Education committee.

“However, our enforcement officers are going to be on ground closing down construction sites that don’t meet the required standards,” he warned.

He pointed out that although the number of engineering graduates has risen, only a few approach the board for registration and recognition as practicing professionals.

“Only 2000 engineering professionals are registered and recognized by EBK in the country while 7000 graduate engineers are yet to be registered because they don’t seek for registration from the board,” said Riungu.

However, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Chairman, Charles Ondieki disagreed with the board’s number of unregistered engineers in the country, he said they are beyond 7000, and blamed EBK for locking out qualified engineers due to their retrogressive regulations.

“There are more than 24 000 trained and qualified engineers in the bush who are alien to EBK because it doesn’t recognize emerging courses in in the sector such as telecommunication and computer engineers among others,” said Ondieki.

The Education committee chaired by Murang’a County MP, Sabina Chege condemned the EBK officials for sleeping on job by failing by shifting blame on ever rising cases of collapsing buildings to landlords instead ensuring strict supervision of construction sites.

Cases of buildings collapsing have been on rise in urban centers including Nairobi where many lives have been lost as a result of poor construction skills.

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