Construction players have a role in fight against Covid

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 21:04 |
Apartment buildings with shared amenities. PD/Courtesy

Harriet James @harriet86jim

It   goes without saying that the true heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic are those who work day in, day out in our healthcare system, risking their lives to help others.

But the response by the construction industry, which has come together to provide humanitarian support of the vulnerable members of the society, providing vital resource to those on the frontline and supporting fellow workers have also been notable.

Case in point is Bamburi Cement, which in July committed Sh15.6 million to help the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a key player in the building and construction industry, we acknowledge that we have an important role to play in supporting the community and the economy during this crisis and facilitating in any way possible the rapid and sustained economic recovery,” said Bamburi Cement group managing director Seddiq Hassani during the cheque handover to the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Board. 

Architect Mugure Njendu, the Architectural Association of Kenya president mentioned that the association was not left behind in responding to the Covid-19 crisis and have contributed as built environment professionals to the fight against the virus. 

In April, Mugure says the association reached out to its membership and undertook a survey focused on the impact of Covid-19 in the built environment, which culminated in a report that served as a foundation to advise the government on how to cushion not only the industry, but everyone else affected by the pandemic.

Arch Mugure Njendu. PD/HARRIET JAMES

“While we look at the issues, we cannot be blind to opportunities that arise and the opportunities we have as built environment professionals to emerge out of this crisis better,” she said during the Architectural Association of Kenya 2020 Annual Convention.

Public works

Nakuru county governor Lee Kinyanjui foresaw greater convergence between urban planning, preventive health, economic planning, education, agriculture, sports and culture and other sectors because of what we have experienced, that a pandemic can affect all outputs.

“Hopefully, post-Covid-19 will be a period of human evolution into oneness in the realisation that everything is interconnected,” he said. 

Principle Secretary, Paul Maringa, State Department of Public Works, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development represented by Arch Ken Kamau, State Department of Public Works said the ministry, through Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and The Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), has participated in the implementation of the National Hygiene Programme (NHP), dubbed Kazi Mtaani, not only to ensure a healthy living environment, but also cushion families financially as the country navigates its way out the pandemic.

The Ministry, through its Agency, KURA, has mapped out a 408.44 kilometre of access roads and related infrastructure that require urgent improvements in 10 informal settlements and densely populated areas.

“We have improved road infrastructure in informal settlements and this has enhanced accessibility to goods and services, in particular food chain supply and access to medical care thus ensuring sustenance of the welfare of all Kenyans during the pandemic to the vulnerable populations living in these settlements.

Similarly, for construction projects the department will encourage contractors to offer job opportunities to the local communities, partcularly youth,” he added.

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