The National Construction Authority (NCA) of Kenya is facing a significant budgetary challenge after the National Treasury eliminated its entire Sh1.3 billion allocation for the 2024/2025 financial year.

This unexpected development has sparked concerns about the NCA's ability to effectively execute its mandate, potentially jeopardizing the safety of future construction projects.

NCA Executive Director Maurice Akech expressed serious reservations during a meeting with the National Assembly Committee on Housing, Urban Planning and Development.

He emphasized that the lack of funding would severely hinder the NCA's core regulatory functions, including essential activities such as inspections of affordable housing projects, accreditation of construction workers, and the standardization of construction techniques and materials.

"The execution of the authority’s core mandate on its regulatory functions, including monitoring and enforcing compliance with construction regulations, building code and standards will greatly be hindered," Aketch stated.

These activities play a critical role in ensuring the structural integrity of buildings.

The budget cuts seem to extend beyond hindering regulatory efforts as Akech further highlighted the potential inability of the NCA to meet payroll and cover other essential operational costs.

This raises concerns about the NCA's overall functionality and its capacity to effectively oversee construction projects across the country.

The NCA is seeking parliamentary intervention to address the budgetary shortfall.

Their proposed solution involves the reinstatement of a construction levy, which could bridge the funding gap and allow the NCA to resume its core functions.

Housing and Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome expressed disappointment that the NCA's funding request, discussed previously with the Treasury, was not ultimately included in the final budget allocation.

"I had been telling the agency that they need to push for more funding but it is very unfortunate that they have now not been factored in the budget," Wahome stated.

This development coincides with growing public anxieties following a series of recent building collapses attributed to substandard construction practices.

The NCA's budget cut raises critical questions about the government's commitment to upholding safety standards within the Kenyan construction sector.

Moving forward, it remains to be seen how this budgetary challenge will be addressed and what impact it will ultimately have on ensuring the safety of future construction projects throughout the nation.