Property developers have been faulted for persistent non-compliance with regulations, which threatens to undermine infrastructure development and workers’ welfare.
The concern was raised by housing experts last week during an inspection of construction works on public projects in the city of Kigali. The inspection is being carried out by engineers from the Institute of Engineers in Rwanda (IER) under the assignment of the Government.
The inspection is expected to cover the whole country, exploring the level of compliance to housing laws, safety and security of workers and the state of the infrastructures being put up. Other issues being looked at include soil tests and geotechnical reports, tests of construction materials and safety and first aid equipment.
On Day 1 inspectors uncovered several non-compliance malpractices from six infrastructure development projects. “The main issue we are seeing from sites is noncompliance, we are finding on site practitioners who are not registered, engineers who are not on site as activities are ongoing,” said Eng. Papias Dedeki Kazawadi, president of the Institution of Engineers.
“The impact is that what is being done is not monitored and administered appropriately, meaning there is a risk for the investor. We have also seen that most workers are not protected and the risk of death on the sites is high,” added Kazawadi
He said that the inspection would serve to increase awareness on the side of stakeholders in the housing sector as well as the general public. “Our intention is not to close, not to punish but create awareness and inform the public to engage professionals who are registered and are recognised by the law, that is the only solution that will guarantee the security and safety for their money and for their investment,” he added
Another consideration is the enforcement of related laws and regulations such as urban planning code, building code, rural and urban settlement law. “Our intention is to see and to inform the Government of the level of compliance,” he said, adding that they will be looking at different laws including procurement law, environment law, contract law, engineering law, etc.
Janvier Muhire, the Acting Director of Building Regulation and Professional Services Unit, at Rwanda Housing Authority, says that the inspection seeks to assess compliance in the housing sector and build capacity for the engineers’ institute.
“The inspection reminds engineers on the site to be more compliant, it will also open our eyes as engineers, we will submit our report to the Rwanda Housing Authority,” he said.