Posts tagged as: building

Cricket Association to Launch U-15 League

By Jejje Muhinde

Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) is set to launch the Under-15 school’s cricket championship next year as part of the long-term strategy to build a solid cricket foundation for the country.

RCA president, Eddie Balaba Mugarura said that the goal is to identify promising cricketers at an early age so that they can have enough time to develop their talents to the best possible standard.

“RCA is planning to officially launch an Under 15 school’s league for both boys and girls early next year, starting around February. The goal is to build on the previous committee’s solid foundation,” Balaba said in an interview with Times Sport.

Since his election in April, Balaba and his executive committee have focused on introducing cricket outside Kigali to make the game a truly countrywide sport.

He noted that the association has successfully organised weekly inter-schools’ games that are creating a competitive buzz among schools across the country.

“We are also focusing on having more schools across Rwanda playing cricket. This way, we shall be able to have a large pool of players to pick from teams to represent the country in regional and continental competitions. Building a solid foundation at the grassroots level is not enough without the infrastructure and coaches to develop the sport,” Balaba noted.

To address the issue of infrastructure the association plans to construct four more grounds on top of the current two (Gahanga and Kicukiro).

So far, cricket is played in only 9 of the 30 districts in Rwanda but RCA says the target is to spread the game to all the 30. In February this year, RCA disclosed that the number of cricket players in Rwanda had reached 7,000.

In a bid to nurture talent, the local cricket governing body has also put up a cricket academy, where the 15 best boys and 15 girls will be identified to undergo comprehensive training for three years at a project under the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC-Kigali).

Balaba believes that involving the kids in inter-schools’ competitions will aid them to compete against their regional peers, who are more superior in terms of skills and techniques.

In a separate interview, Jackson Nzayisenga, the schools coordinator at RCA disclosed that they have entered into a partnership with the Rwanda Schools Sports Federation (FRSS) to increase the number of schools playing cricket. The ultimate goal is to start participating in the annual regional Inter-school’s competition (FEASSSA).

“We have started touring different schools in districts across the country to introduce the sport where it has not reached and also to improve performance of young cricketers in schools where the game already exists,” he said.

He said that last weekend; they were in Huye district, Southern Province where five schools namely; GS Cyarwa Boys, Regina Pacis SS CEFOTEC, GS Cyarwa Girls, GS Gatagara and GS Butare played friendly games.

This coming weekend, they will be in Kicukiro district at Kagarama SS, GS Gahanga, GS Kicukiro and GS Ntarama.

Last month, RCA sent a women’s team to Nairobi, Kenya for a tri-nation tournament that also had Uganda and Kenya-in the same month, the Rwanda U19 boys’ team participated in the schools’ week in Kampala where they played five games, winning two and losing three.

This month, Rwanda Cricket Association will host Nyakasura School from Uganda to play against the national U19 boys’ team.

The senior men’s national team, which is currently in training camp, will take on Uganda, Kenya and five cricket clubs from the United Kingdom in a tournament organized as part of the activities to launch the much-anticipated state-of-the-art International Cricket Stadium in Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro district.

Africa: Bridging the Maternal Healthcare Divide With Mobile Technology

By Joakim Reiter, Group External Affairs Director

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Every day, about 830 women die due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth around the world. The suffering is completely unnecessary.

Every day, about 830 women die due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth around the world. For each death there are many more women who suffer traumatic, life-changing injuries due to pregnancy and childbirth. These figures are tragic, particularly when you consider that the majority of the cases occur in developing countries and almost all of them are preventable.

The suffering is completely unnecessary. In most instances, access to basic maternal healthcare would secure the wellbeing of these women and their babies. It’s not just about the number of hospitals and healthcare workers either, sometimes the healthcare is available, it just doesn’t reach the women who need it, particularly in rural communities. This is where mobile technology can help.

Take Tanzania as an example. About 70% of Tanzania’s 56 million people live in rural areas with limited access to healthcare. As a consequence, the Government of Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey estimates that in 2015 556 women died for every 100,000 live births, which is one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The number of Tanzanian women seriously injured because of traumatic deliveries is even higher: every year there are an estimated 3000 new cases of obstetric fistula alone.

Obstetric fistula is directly linked to a major cause of maternal mortality: obstructed labour. Untreated, fistula is not only distressing and painful, but many of the women are marginalised, isolated and no longer regarded by their communities as productive members of society. In 2016, the scale of the problem prompted the UN Secretary General at the time, Ban Ki-Moon, to call upon the world to end fistula within a generation, putting it at the same level as HIV and polio.

Many women with obstetric fistula don’t even know it can be treated. Even if they are aware, they have no way of getting to hospital, nor do they have the money to pay for treatment. With no hope of a cure, they suffer in silence, hidden away, making it extremely difficult for the health system to reach them.

For example, when the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Treatment (CCBRT) in Dar Es Salaam started offering free treatment to women with obstetric fistula in 2009 it only treated about 200 women a year – well below its capacity and a relatively small number compared to the total number of women in Tanzania suffering with the condition. It had the surgeons, facilities and money, but it couldn’t get the message to women that free treatment was available or have any way of sending them the funds to travel to hospital.

This is where mobile technology offered a lifeline. CCBRT partnered with the Vodafone Foundation to establish a pioneering new service called “Text to Treatment”. It enabled CCBRT to use text messaging to raise awareness and communicate with patients. They could also send women the money for them to travel to hospital via M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service developed by Vodafone with support from the UK’s Department for International Development. In the first year of the service, the centre saw a 40% increase in the number of women treated. In 2016, 94% of the 1012 patients treated used the M-Pesa service.

Since then, USAID and the Vodafone Foundation have established a broader programme called “Mobilising Maternal Health” in Tanzania. Building on the work fighting obstetric fistula, its goal is to find ways that mobile communications can improve access to healthcare and help educate women in rural areas about pregnancy and childbirth.

A central pillar of the programme is a “ambulance taxi” service. A toll-free number in the Sengerema and Shinyanga districts connects emergency calls 24 hours, 7 days a week from expectant mothers to a network of 100 taxi drivers who will take them to the nearest, most appropriate health facility according to their condition and the fare is paid using M-Pesa. In one year the service played a critical role in reducing the number of maternal deaths by almost 30%.

If we are serious about achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of reducing the global maternal mortality rate to less than 70 per 100,000 by 2030, there is so much more to do.

Bridging the rural-urban healthcare divide is pivotal, and the programmes in Tanzania, which have helped about 440,000 women in total, are a demonstration of the role mobile technology can play. The onus is on governments, donors, private companies, and international organisations to continue working together to harness the power of mobile technology to give every woman and child around the world access to quality healthcare.

Who Is to Blame for Dusty City Streets?

Photo: Daily Monitor

Ongoing construction work along the Bakuli-Nakulabye road.

By Amos Ngwomoya

Kampala — When Kampala city streets are not flooding, they are dusty. City traders, motorists and pedestrians are facing a rough time having to manoeuvre through the dusty and congested streets.

The dust is partly caused by the ongoing construction works, dug out trenches, excavation sites and roads that are not tarmacked in some parts of the city.

While most streets are clear of vendors, who were previously selling their merchandise and littering the city, dust pollution is the new menace. It is worse during the dry season.

The works being undertaken within the city include the installation of sewer lines on John Ssebaana Kizito Road (former Nakivubo Road) by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and the erection of a high-rise building along Luwum Street.

Disrupt business

Some of the traders and motorists who spoke to Daily Monitor yesterday accused Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) of failing to contain the dust and congestion, which they claim has paralysed their work. Pedestrians are not spared either.

“Ever since they started installing the pipes, all my merchandise has been covered in dust. This is because as you can see, am just inches away from the installation site. Whenever it rains, the situation becomes worse as the whole of this ground floor becomes muddy. Of course not forgetting pedestrians who disrupt us a lot since the road is now narrow,” Ms Stella Nakidde, a trader at Ssekaziga Building on Ssebana Kizito Road, said.

Alternative measures

She accused KCCA of failing to have alternative measures to prevent the current outcry which she said has left majority of them in losses.

The situation on Luwum Street is worse as taxi operators scramble to exit the old taxi park following the erection of a new building on the same street whose construction materials have eaten up part of the road.

The falling debris and dust from the same building has also become unbearable for both taxi operators and their passengers, putting their lives at a health risk.

Residents are exposed to dust-related illnesses like asthma, heart diseases, cancer and chronic bronchitis among others.

Warning

Mr Ronald Ssekamate, a taxi driver, warned that the current situation on Luwum Street could result in accidents, saying there is no official controlling the flow of traffic.

“Luwum street is totally messed up. This situation is putting our lives at a risk because drivers have now started fighting for who must pass first. For instance, you load passengers at 4pm but you spend one hour or more on Luwum Street figuring out where to pass as taxis get stuck there,” he said.

Mr Peter Kaujju, the KCCA spokesperson, acknowledged the ongoing construction works in the city.

However, he noted that all construction works in the city have to be sealed off to protect people from dust and the falling debris.

“Whoever has not sealed off the construction site is breaking the law. Once we get them, they will be answerable,” he said.

He didn’t explain what KCCA is doing to solve the traders’ and motorists’ concerns.

Replacing sewer pipes

Daily Monitor understands that NWSC is currently replacing the old sewer lines with new ones in the city.

For instance, they have just finished installing sewer lines at Centenary Park, but these installations are likely to affect a few individuals in some places.

Whenever it rains, parts of Kampala city and its neighborhood are left flooded.

Pedestrians and motorists struggle to make their way through the roads.

KCCA blames the flooding on increased human activities such as illegal encroachment on wetlands and blocked drainage channels.

Namibia: Health Faculty Not Badly Affected By Budget Cuts

By Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek — The dean of the University of Namibia (Unam)’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Peter Nyarango, has said phase three of the construction of the school Health Sciences campus has not been affected by the budget cuts.

“Fortunately, all these things were very well planned by the National Planning Commission and Unam,” Nyarango said in explaining that the new building would be handed over to Unam on April 23, 2018.

Nyarango, however, hoped for a better economic outlook for the year ahead, saying “we may have some places that may not have equipment” due to the budget cuts.”

This may have an impact on the operations of the institutions and he expressed the hope that the building would not become a white elephant. The new building would include the school of dentistry, library, administrative block and cafeteria.

“Until now we are very lucky that our students were willing enough to do their own cooking,” said the dean, explaining that for the first time, the campus would have a cafeteria next year.

Phase three of the construction would also include an office block, as staff of the Health Sciences campus lacked sufficient office space.

Nyarango explained to journalists last week that the building is part of the development of the Health Sciences campus. It was designed to be built over a period of ten years, in six phases, he added.

Each of the phases cost on average about N$ 150 million, Nyarango noted. However, phase three cost about N$200 million, he said.

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Nigeria: Experts Advocate Sustainable Solutions for Construction, Built Environment

By Femi Adekoya

As the market for sustainable design and construction begins to grow, stakeholders in the construction, academic and built environment have advocated increased deployment of sustainable solutions in addressing such needs, especially in emerging markets like Nigeria.

With industry forecasts suggesting that material demand in the construction sector will double by 2050, considering the need for affordable housing that meets sustainability requirements and roads in many parts of Africa, especially Nigeria, smart solutions remain the viable alternative.

To this end, LafargeHolcim has staked $2-million to promote sustainable construction through a global competition that seeks to provide smart solutions for cities and the environment.

Speaking at the 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards for the Middle East African region in Nairobi, at the weekend, Saâd Sebbar, a Member of the Executive Committee of LafargeHolcim Ltd responsible for the region, said the awards was designed as a platform for the implementation of sustainable agenda by the cement manufacturer.

According to him, the global competition requests leading projects of professionals as well as bold ideas from the next generation that combine sustainable construction solutions with architectural excellence.

He explained that the feasibility of a project was a key requirement of the awards because the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, which is responsible for the Awards, seeks designs that go beyond current standards and deliver new, surprising, or truly visionary solutions to the way people build.

Indeed, the competition attracted 5,085 entries by authors in 121 countries, as only 1,836 projects passed the formal and quality checks and were assessed by five independent regional juries, hosted by partner universities of the Foundation.

Although the 75 entries from Nigeria did not qualify for the global Awards competition scheduled for 2018, the entries were acknowledged at the regional competition.

To however ensure that Nigeria takes the centre stage at the next edition of the awards, a Professor of Housing and Urban Regeneration at the University of Lagos, Gbenga Nubi noted that efforts are underway to build a strategic partnership with other stakeholders in the construction industry to foster professional exchange and ensure that next entries meet the criteria for sustainable construction.

According to him, Nigerians have several projects that can compete globally but only need to package such entries properly to satisfy the requirements of the awards.

A member of the jury for the regional awards, Kunle Adeyemi, said there is a lot of work to be done in orientating a lot of young architects and designers on the true values that are important in development today.

Kunle who is also the Founder and Principal of NLÉ based in Lagos, Nigeria and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, said: “construction goes beyond the fanciful, high profile and exotic looking designs of today but the issues affecting people and the environment. The use of materials that are local needs to be considered, as well as techniques of building that improve human and capital resources that we have.

“We need to understand these values. We are happy to encourage them and look forward to more entries from the young ones. LafargeHolcim gives an incredible opportunity to be recognised and rewarded for such kinds of work”.

Although construction is a globalized industry with intensive exchange across continents, significant differences were seen between the projects in each region. “In Middle East Africa, poverty is one of the main issues,” says Sarah Nichols, representative of the Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.

With their project, Mariam Kamara and YasamanEsmaili from the USA received the Gold award as they desire to create a platform for passing on such knowledge to the inhabitants of the region around Dandaji village in Niger by proposing to transform a mosque into a library.

Fatima-azzahraBendahmane from Morocco won the silver award for proposing a multi-generation complex in AïtBenhaddou in Morocco for training young people and promoting local manual skills, while Joana Dabaj, Riccardo Conti and MatteoZerbi of CatalyticAction in Lebanon won the bronze award for a proposal to provide a school for refugees in Lebanon to help prepare children for life after relocation.

While many of the awarded projects ultimately end up being constructed or produced, the LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition award, which was awarded for the first time at the weekend, was received by Francis Kéré for his school building in Burkina Faso, a prize-winning project from a previous competition cycle that was described as a successful example of sustainable construction that has been built and stood the test of time.

Four projects in each region also received an Acknowledgement prize, while another four received the Next Generation prizes.

Ethiopia: Construction of Stalled Dam Concludes

By Berhane Hailemariam

The Dam that has the capacity of holding 234 million cubic meters of water delayed for five years

Rib Dam, whose holding capacity stands at 234 million cubic meters of water, was finally completed with a cost of 3.7 billion Br after being delayed for five years. The construction of the project was carried out by Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation (ECWC).

ECWC, the then Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise, took the project in 2008 with an initial plan of completing and delivering within four years’ time. The dam is located in Amhara Regional State, South Gondar zone, between Farta and Ebnat Weredas, 690Km from Addis Abeba and 42Km away from Addis Zemen town.

The cost of the project was revised four times and finally fixed at 3.7 billion Br from the initial cost of 1.3 billion Br. Before reaching the current value, the price was also revised to 2.4 billion Br in 2013 and 4.6 billion Br in 2014.

The dam is designed to irrigate 20,000ha of land. Rib has a height of 73.5m from Original Ground Level (OGL) and 99.5m from the foundation. Its length is 800m and has top crust width of 10m. It is expected to be inaugurated next month.

Rib, which has a span life of 50 to 75 years, is owned by Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity (MoWIE) and consulted by Ethiopian Construction Design & Supervision Works Corporation (ECDSWC).

The dam is filled with 8.1 million cubic metre volume of materials which include clay soil, filter material (sand), shell material (fine rock), and heavy rocks to protect it from heavy waves coming from the upstream side of the dam, according to Feleke Kidane, project manager of the dam.

Design changes, shortage of required materials, delay for relocation and problems with human resource, machinery and spare parts were the main reasons behind the delay for the project manager.

Bizuneh Tolcha, public relations and communication directorate director at MoWIE, further attributes the delay to lack of proper project management by the MoWIE and limited capacity from the contractor and consultant.

ECWC also constructed spill way to discharge the overflow of water, a bridge which connects the dam and intake tower that has six gates which the reserved water enters.

The three saddle dams, which prevent seepage from the dam with a 400,000, 24,000 and 7,000 cubic meter capacity, in addition to the protection of the sediments which enter to Lake Tana.

Currently, the water elevation is around 1,928m above sea level and at this elevation, the dam reserves 141 million cubic metres of water.

The Dam helps the farmers at Fogera and surrounding areas to be productive throughout the year using irrigation to cultivate rice and other cereals, according to Feleke.

The contractor of the project, ECWC was established in 2015 with an authorised capital of 20.3 million Br and 7.7 million Br paid up capital. It was formed after merging Ethiopian Road Construction Corporation, Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise and Ethiopian Prefabricated Building Parts Production Enterprise.

It is mandated to construct and maintain roads, bridges, highways, dams and infrastructure dealing with hydropower and irrigation. Kesem Dam and Irrigation, Gidabo Dam, Megech dam and Tendaho clean water supply project are the major projects executed by the Corporation.

District Authorities Decry Cost of Mubende Eviction

By Christopher Tusiime

After the eviction of artisanal miners in Mubende district about three weeks ago, the leaders of the area have estimated a loss of about Shs 500m, which they would receive as taxes from various business owners in the mining camps.

According to the district’s natural resource officer, Vincent Kinene, each of the eight camps had more than 50 shops, with each shop owner paying Shs 30,000 in the form of monthly fees. This amount would total Shs 200m collected annually from shops alone.

However, with the eviction of thousands who occupied the mines, Kinene said the local government will no longer get this money.

“That is why the district administration has been sympathetic… ” he said in reference to the shops that have been closed.

Kinene added: “We had like eight mining camps, and we have been getting like Shs 30,000 a month from each enterprise in the camp.”

Some camps are thought to have had more than 200 enterprises where fees could be levied per month, making him estimate a loss of over Shs 500m.

“The money that comes in to the district [in royalties from the bigger mining companies ] has been less than Shs 20 million a year. That’s why the local authorities asked: ‘what do we get from Kisita mining company? What do we get from AUC [Minitng Ltd]?'” Kinene added.

However, when we contacted AUC boss, Moses Masagazi, he refuted the claim that the company was not paying its fair share of fees. He instead blamed the district’s political leaders and other senior government officers, whom he refused to mention, of failing his business.

“There are tremendous costs to AUC and its investors in terms of the investment, lost time and market opportunities,” Masagazi’s letter to The Observer partly reads.

He added: “Apart from the investment in the area, to-date, the company, under the severely encumbered activities, continues to pay the license fees to Uganda Revenue Authority. This year (2017) alone, the company has paid over Shs 100m in form of license-related fees.”

In Mubende, there are three companies with mining leases. One for Building Majesty Company Ltd, which deals in dimension stones mining, the other is for Bakisita Company Ltd and AUC Mining Ltd, both of which deal in gold mining.

The district vice chairman, Zziwa Birungi Amooti, said government did not engage the district’s authorities in the exercise of evicting artisanal miners.

“We didn’t even get the eviction notice… Mubende hasn’t benefited from this mining activity because we don’t even have enough information about the owners of the licences,” Birungi said.

GEMSTONE INTERNATIONAL OR AUC?

According to Kinene, his office has had a torrid time in distinguishing between AUC and Gemstone International Limited. He said his records show that AUC has a mining lease of 5.8 square kilometres.

He also found out that Gemstone International, whose exploration licence expired in 2016, has a close relationship with one AUC director. It’s due to this reason that AUC, which has a mining lease that was granted in January 1994 and ending on January 2, 2020, has been trying to move out of its mining lease and extend to the area covered by Gemstone’s exploration licence.

Asked how much they could have lost as a result of AUC not paying royalties, Kinene was unable to estimate.

“Nothing like their figures has ever been presented to us, he said.

“They don’t even do environmental impact audit from that time [1994]; they don’t even allow inspectors. But from what we see in their mine, there is no serious activity taking place, and yet very many people were evicted from that place before it became a mining lease and were not adequately compensated,” he observed.

Kinene explained that they don’t even include Gemstone International on their list of companies in Mubende because its is temporary and just exploring.

Kinene disclosed that according to his documents, before Gemstone got the exploration licence, they were part of AUC.

CHALLENGES

Kinene said if they had received the money from these mining firms, they would have used it to solve infrastructural challenges like working on roads that are in a sorry state, hospitals and schools.

“As the department of natural resources, we don’t have a vehicle to move around those places. If we were getting that money, we would be able to buy machines like X-ray fluorescence machine to test for mercury on site and such pollutants,” he added.

Kinene said as Mubende district, they have been getting a very small percentage of the royalties, money that would normally range between Shs 4m and Shs 5m.

WAY FORWARD

Kinene said to end the standoff in Mubende, Gemstone owners should tell the authorities the exact part where they have found gold, where they want to mine and then give up the other places to artisanal miners.

“In those other places, we can grant artisanal miners location licences and have the local people do their work. The problem with Gemstone International is that they are greedy. They want to take over the 207 square kilometres yet they can’t,” Kinene said.

He added that as a district, they benefited a lot when thousands were in the mines because, “people were employed, people were eating, people were spending money, and they were making the local economy of Mubende very vibrant.”

Like Kinene, Birungi asked government to quickly intervene in the deplorable state of the evicted miners are going through, adding that the crime rate is going to increase in the district because many youths are still loitering in the area with no jobs.

Zimbabwe: Harare City Council, Banks in Housing Deal

By Innocent Ruwende

Harare City Council has partnered two local banks to develop residential stands for low-income earners around the city with an initial project targeting more than 1 200 stands.

The city entered into a Public Private Partnership with National Building Society and FBC Group (Pvt) Ltd for purposes of low-cost housing development and the banks will provide mortgage to homeseekers on the city’s housing waiting list.

NBS will develop 333 stands while FBC will develop 858 stands.

Harare’s housing and social development director, Mr Edmore Nhekairo told the Education, Health, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee that NBS had approached council with a view to partner it in several projects one of which was infrastructural development at St Martin’s, Hatfield.

“The committee noted that infrastructural development on Phase 1 was supposed to be done internally by council through an interdepartmental land value addition team. Due to lack of adequate funding for the project, very little progress was effected on the ground apart from requisite paper work such as engineering drawings, bills of quantity and surveys,” read the minutes.

“NBS had indicated that it had ready funding to carry out the project within expected time frames of council. NBS would service the residential and non-residential stands through the partnership, logistics of which would be catered for within the Memorandum of Agreement.”

The bank is expected to complete the project within 18 months.

The committee resolved to recommend that council enters into a Memorandum of Agreement for Public Private Partnership with National Building Society for purposes of infrastructural development of 333 stands in St Martin’s.

Mr Nhekairo told the same council that FBC had also approached council with an intention to partner the city in low cost housing development starting with a project in Kuwadzana.

The land in question has 858 stands ranging from 200 to 1 000 square metres.

“A preliminary meeting had already been conducted between officials from council and FBC. In the proposed partnership, FBC would provide funding for the project, which funds would cater for infrastructure development for both residential and non-residential stands,” reads the minutes.

“The non-residential stands would be surrendered to council while FBC would further effect super structural development on the residential stands.”

FBC would be required to commence and complete infrastructural and super structural development with 24 months.

Council resolved to recommend that the city enters into an agreement with FBC.

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Authority Gives Condemned City Building New Lease of Life

By Lillian Mutavi

The National Construction Authority has allowed the rehabilitation and construction of a building in the city centre that was condemned in November last year.

The building, at the junction of Kimathi Street and Kenyatta Avenue, is set on the site of former Nakumatt Downtown which was destroyed by a fire that saw 29 lives lost on January 28, 2009.

Addressing the Press at the site on Wednesday, National Buildings Inspectorate secretary Moses Nyakiongora said the building’s construction was stopped due to non-compliance but would now continue with conditions and under the supervision of a contractor and the relevant authorities.

Mr Nyakiongora said that the developer has engaged a new consultant after it emerged that there had been no consultant but a foreman.

In addition, there had been no records to show evidence of a resident supervision team fit for the scale and magnitude of the project.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

“The project architect was Simiyu Nakitare while the structural engineer was Ebatech Consulting Engineers who later withdrew from the project, but have since been suspended by the Architectural Association of Kenya and Institution of Engineers of Kenya for professional misconduct,” said the secretary.

During the audit, a number of anomalies were noted in the preliminary report. For instance, the site did not have a quality control plan to ensure that the building was being constructed in accordance with design standards.

The building did not have a fire exit or a staircase to access the basement. The concrete works was of poor quality and workmanship was poor.

Mr Nyakiongora said that if the construction had not been stopped, the building would have collapsed before reaching the 10th floor due to deflecting beams and poor quality of construction materials, including sand and ballast.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

“The proposed development comprised a commercial property with a plinth area of 855m² consisting of eight suspended reinforced concrete slabs, over three basements, two mezzanine floors and three typical floors. Basically it was a 17-storey building but would have collapsed by the 10th floor,” he said.

Speaking at the same site, the consultant, Dr Moses Kiliswa, said that there will be partial demolition and strengthening of the building.

He said the ramp to the basement would be demolished and reconstructed for accessibility and circulation in the basement floors.

Dr Kiliswa added that they will upgrade the concrete elements and have additional slabs for the floors which will be redesigned to reduce the entire weight of the structure for safety enhancement.

National Disaster Management Unit official Pius Masai urged developers to follow laid down guidelines and laws.

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Nigeria: Addressing Human Capacity in Oil and Gas Insurance

By Ebere Nwoji

The absence of human capacity in oil and gas insurance underwriting has been identified as a major reason for the massive outflow of insurance businesses to the London market.

Despite efforts by the federal government and the insurance sector operators to ensure that insurance firms benefit from huge opportunities in oil and gas sector, the industry’s situation could be likened to that of a pauper living in the island of gold.

In spite of the level of business activities going on in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, insurance industry’s Gross Premium for 2016, remained as low as N380billion while the sector’s contribution to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 0.03 percent against N1trillion premium target and 3percent contribution to the GDP set by the regulator, the National insurance Commission (NAICOM) in 2012.

This is because in the face of activities going on in the oil and gas sector, ancillary services that are supposed to be rendered by indigenous insurers to grow their premium income are taken abroad, mainly to London markets whose premium income continues to maintain upward movement year in year out.

Recent reports by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITl), revealed that only about 5 per cent of the oil and gas sector’s insurance business are handled by local underwriters. This is despite federal government’s local content policy, which had targeted 45 percent local underwriting of oil and gas business by the year 2006 and 70 percent local underwriting by 2010.

At a recent seminar for insurers and reinsurers organised by the Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation, the reinsurers complained that despite the local content policy, less than 30 percent of oil and gas businesses in Nigeria are currently written by indigenous firms while the rest still go abroad.

Investigations on the cause of this reveals that lack of capacity in terms of human and finance is often the reason put forward by oil multinationals for taking their businesses to their captive firms or to other giant London insurers.

In fact, few years back, a director in Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stated that the entire operating capital of all the insurance firms in Nigeria put together cannot insure one oil rig in Nigeria.

Irked by continued loss of businesses to their foreign counterparts, NAICOM, in 2007, moved to address the finance capacity problem by reviewing upward the minimum capital base of the industry with the result that today, most underwriting firms operate with as much as N5 billion, N10billion or even more capital against N3billion minimum requirement.

Ten years after, some new generation and forward looking insurance underwriting firms, have taken it upon themselves to address the human capacity problem through training of staff of insurance underwriting firms and other stakeholders in the oil and gas insurance business.

Wapic Insrance, is one of such firms .Others which have organised such trainings in the past though in other classes of insurance different from oil and gas are, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation(Nigeria Re), Leadway Insurance Ltd, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc among others.

Wapic insurance, last week staged an intensive training programme on capacity building for oil and gas insurance stakeholders with the theme ‘Trends in Underwriting Upstream Risk’.

Titled Wapic Inaugural Capacity Building Session for Stakeholders in Oil and Gas industry, the company, successfully attracted oil and gas insurance specialists from London, Mr. Nick Sorgo, Partner Energy Division, JLT Specialty Ltd, London as well as indigenous specialists in oil and gas business such as Steve Odjugo oil and Gas expert and Consultant from Nigeria, Mr. Sina Elusakin, Deputy Managing director Industrial and General Insurance Plc, Mr. Kunle, Omilani, Chairman YOA Consulting, Mr. Paul Atiomo, Senior Manager Energy and Special Risk, African Reinsurance Corporation. These experts bared their minds, ideas and knowledge on how Nigerian underwriters could conveniently play safe in the juicy but high risk profile oil and gas sector.

Sorgo noted that the level of political risks in Nigeria in form of terrorism, kidnappings, piracy and political violence has leaned the chances of Nigerian insurance underwriters getting easy access to foreign reinsurance coverage.

According to him, as a result of this, the London market has tagged Nigerian market high risk profile market.

He said this may increase cost of local reinsurance capacity to retain the risk locally. Currently, Nigerian reinsurers act as frontiers of foreign reinsurers.

Sorgo therefore emphasised the need for Nigerian insurers to draw experience from London markets which he said plays safe in business acceptance.

Stakeholders at the session noted that there is need for increased human and financial capacity in oil and gas insurance in Nigeria but insisted that human capacity building is very critical.

A director, authorisation and policy, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mr. Pius Agboola, who represented the Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, said that the commission was committed to increasing oil and gas business retention in Nigeria.

He commended Wapic Insurance for the initiative and challenged other firms to emulate the company.

On her part, Wapic Insurance Managing Director Mrs. Adeyinka Adekoya, reasoned that insurance players must play a major role in indemnifying losses in the oil and gas sector to prevent the industry from being handicapped financially after any major loss.

She said: “Due to the nation’s dependence on the oil and gas sector, it is invariably important that one should consider the risks involved both in the offshore and onshore operations.

“The insurance industry, a sub-sector of the financial services sector, provides risk management measures for the petroleum industry and has been identified as one of the pillars of transformation in the industry.”

Adekoya said the aim of the conference was to contribute to an industry-wide understanding of the recent trends and nature of risks peculiar to the oil and gas operations in Nigeria, as well as the latest solutions and risk mitigation measures in addressing such.

She observed that the impact of the drastic fall of crude oil price had made it challenging for the federal government to meet its obligations on joint venture agreements and budgetary commitments.

Furthermore, she said that the NNPC had announced its exit from the JV arrangement paving way for an alternative arrangement, which allows the JV to finance itself by retaining its operating cost among others.

“The implication of this is far-reaching; it would be interesting to see how this affects the landscape of the industry in a few years to come,” she said.

One of the discussants at the session, Sina Elusakin, the Deputy Managing Director, Industrial and General Insurance Plc, said that Nigerian insurers need to be very careful in their risk acceptance especially in the area of facultative risk.

He stressed the need for the insurers to take time to study the risk profile of the business they want to underwrite before accepting such business.

He also spoke on the need for Nigerian underwriters to borrow experience from London market operators in order to play safe and avoid unnecessary exposure to risk that is beyond their capacity.

Some Nigerian underwriters expose themselves to excess loss insurance because of urge to accumulate much premium noting that international players play safer than Nigerian underwriters.

Elusakin also cautioned oil and gas sector operators that indulge in self insurance to look at the cost of risks they keep.

He also advised them to consider their financial capacity to determine their ability to absorb such risks.

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