Kara hosts NEMA and NCA leaders at the 6th Resident Associations Chairpersons Forum

Kara held the 6th Resident Associations Chairpersons’ Forum on 28th September 2023 at the Ngong Hills Hotel, Nairobi. The forum was attended by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Director General, Mamo B. Mamo and the National Construction Authority (NCA) Executive Director and Registrar of Contractors, Eng. Maurice Akech.
Speaking at the forum, Kara CEO Henry Ochieng, stated that KARA hosts periodic Resident Associations Chairpersons’ Forum to provide a platform for members to interact and share ideas on various service delivery issues.
NEMA Director General Mamo B. Mamo stressed on the need for residents to sustainably manage their waste within their households. He added that regulations are being put in place to provide guidance to the public on how to effectively manage waste using the circular economy approach. And in line with Sustainable Waste Management Act of 2022.
“Under the new regulations, every waste generator shall segregate waste at the source. Non-hazardous waste must be separated into organic and inorganic fractions and placed in properly labelled and colour-coded receptacles, bins, containers, and bags” he said. “Waste must be disposed of only through licensed waste service providers or at collection points designated by the County Government or NEMA” he added.
He stated that NEMA is the process of implementing the Sustainable Waste Management Act, 2022 which largely places responsibility to manage waste on producers through the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model. Mamo underscored the importance of EPR, explaining that it places significant responsibility on producers for the entire lifecycle of their products, including collection, treatment, and disposal of waste generated by those products.
Mr. Mamo also stated that NEMA will collaborate with Resident Associations in ensuring that EIA processes are properly conducted by developers. He noted that the piecemeal Change of Use by developers still remains a significant challenge in many counties as they contribute to environment degradation.
Speaking on behalf of NCA Executive Director, Architect Nancy Milgo stated that NCA is in the process of implementing the new building code. The new code will be performance-based and factor in technological advancement, universal access to buildings as well as environment-friendly construction.
She stated that NCA has ensured the enhancement of quality of construction through the registration of projects, quality assurance checks across the country, and building the capacity of contractors and construction workers. However, several gaps in the construction sector persist, including non-compliance with set guidelines, the existence of multiple conflicting frameworks, the manual approval process, and inadequate awareness of the available database, which poses a problem to the sector.
She noted that most non-compliance issues in the sector include using inappropriate construction material, poor workmanship attributed to inadequate skills, and unprofessional and ethical conduct of contractors. The NCA (2019) report shows that poor workmanship contributes to the highest percentage of collapsed buildings at 35 per cent, while the use of substandard construction materials stood at 28 per cent and unprofessional and unethical conduct of contractors at 34 per cent.
Ms. Milgo also pointed out that the multiple frameworks that guide and regulate the construction sector are at times in conflict with one another. There is low coordination among the various agencies involved in building control and regulation. She said that NEMA, NCA and counties are the agencies involved in the building approval process, but their mandates are weakly coordinated. The limitation in coordination leads to delayed approvals.
Construction industry laws and regulations have gaps on clarity of scope, leading to overlapping mandates, and there is no comprehensive policy framework to guide the sector. She urged Resident Associations to report non-compliance issues by developers to NCA so as to ensure all the construction activities are carried out within provisions of the law.
It was agreed that NEMA and NCA will strengthen their collaboration with KARA to ensure effective monitoring and reporting of activities in the construction sector that may not be in compliance with the law. KARA already has a Memorandum of Understanding with NEMA and will soon sign one with NCA.

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