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January 19, 2018

Kakamega’s new strict building approvals to end mushrooming of illegal structures

Kakamega governor  Wycliffe Oparanya
Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya

The Kakamega government has tightened building approval rules to stop the mushrooming of illegal structures in urban centres.

County secretary Beatrice Sabana said approval of building plans will now be handled by the subcounty administrators, not individual departments.

The county director of physical planning, county head of public health and the public works head will not be approving building plans — only make recommendations on their applications.

In a circular dated January 2, Sabana said the county Development Control and Conflict Resolution Committee had decided to end the building of illegal structures approved by individual officers without its knowledge.

Sabana said the developers assume their plans have been approved and go ahead with construction, possibly endangering the public by putting up unsafe buildings.

TOO MANY DEPARTMENTS

She said county agencies or departments individually approved building plans without involving the County Development Control and Conflict Resolution Committee, which has been reduced to a mere formality. Sabana chairs the multi-sectoral committee. “As a result, whenever the committee rejects or defers approvals, the developers often contest the decisions by providing approvals from different departments or agencies of the county government,” she said.

Developers will now deliver their plans to the subcounty administrators and pay fees. The subcounty administrator will then move the plans through various offices for inspection.

Officers will not stamp the plans “approved” as in the past but only make recommendations before the actual approval is done. Two enforcement officers were fired in December for involvement in illegal approvals fo kiosks in the town.

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