The implementation of affordable housing pillar of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda is receiving critical attention from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) following the launch of an intensive training course for compliance and quality assurance officers from the National Construction Authority (NCA), aimed at mainstreaming the latest quality sustainable technologies in the construction industry.
The Concrete Technology Training Course for the first batch of 20 pioneer trainees drawn from various regions covered by NCA, ran from 9 – 13 July, 2018, at JKUAT where it was coordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Materials, Research and Technology (SMARTEC). This is the first specialist course for NCA officers to be implemented by any training institution in Kenya.
Dr. Eng. Charles Kabubo, Director of SMARTEC, speaking during the certificates award ceremony, said the mandate of JKUAT is to ensure sustainable constructions at a time the Government is focused on the implementation of the Big 4 Agenda.
Apart from the construction technology, there is deep excavation and most contractors do not have adequate knowledge to do protection works for deep excavations. Because they lack knowledge regarding protection works, the site excavations end up collapsing or carving in, said Dr. Kabubo.
According to Dr. Kabubo, “The sector is one of the heaviest consumers of Government’s budgetary allocations. Investing such immense human and financial resources without a check on proper quality standards is not prudent thing to do.”
Dr. Kabubo argues that as a premier university, our role is to equip professionals working in the building and construction industry through relevant practical courses that can help them effectively implement their everyday work. This is why we came up with the specialized 5-day short course.
The pioneer cohort of compliance and standards officers from National Construction Authority who have undergone the programme will play a significant role in ensuring the Government delivers on quality and affordable housing across the country.
The trainees were taken through a curriculum that exposed them to skills and knowledge that will enable them assess the quality of cement material, reinforcement of steel, sand and aggregates (ballast); how to make and determine good quality concrete; recognize bad concrete or poor quality materials used in concrete work; safety issues in construction as well as audit of buildings’ strengths and recognition of poorly constructed buildings.
Ms. Janet Kimuyu from NCA North Rift region says, the course has equipped her with utilitarian knowledge. “This is an important course. I have learned many things about concrete technology that most of us assumed we knew. I intend to apply the skills in quality assurance especially at construction sites when I go back to my station. Anybody involved in overseeing quality assurance or compliance should take this course.”
Another trainee, Mr. Antony Njoroge, a compliance officer with NCA in the Nairobi Regional office lauded the course: “Most contractors in Nairobi use reinforced concrete. We are now aware of how concrete structures should behave and the various tests that should be conducted to ascertain the structural integrity of concrete in construction sites,” he concluded.