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World Bank helps Kenya in e-Construction Permit Management System

Kenya has benefited from the first Sub-Sahara’s automated construction permit management system outside of South Africa, in an attempt that will cut down the time and costs for applicants and regulator. The World Bank, through the Kenya Investment Climate Program last month launched the program in Mombasa county, after the system was launched in Nairobi last September.

In addition to improving efficiency in administration of construction permits in Kenya, the e-construction permit management system (eCP) will encourage best practices among architects in the construction industry. Inspection officers are also expected to use the system in generating reports and profiling of ongoing construction projects according to risks.

World Bank and IFC helped Kenya by advising on the design and installation of the new e- construction permit management system (eCP). The organizations also trained city council staff on its use, and raising awareness of the system among relevant stakeholders.

The system is likely to be implemented next to Kisumu after Mombasa, according to World Bank Group’s Nairobi-based head of KICP, Fred Zake. “The successful launch and piloting of these tools in Nairobi is likely to lead to replication in other selected local authorities, including Mombasa and possibly Kisumu, and elsewhere in the region.” He said.

The World Bank Group’s Kenya Investment Climate Program would also see the country upgrade the e-Registry, Develop and deploy other IT solutions, such as the Local Government Investment Climate Portal, and Reform its business environment. The Kenya Investment Climate Program 2, under which the Mombasa e-Construction Permit system will be implemented, is a three-year program financed by UK Aid and the Dutch government.

The e- construction permit management system will cut down application backlog associated with tedious manual process. It will allow applicants to receive approvals within three days from 20 days previously, according to World Bank, in addition to reducing burden on county officers. It will also allow the county governments to handle larger volumes of applications at a particular time without raising labor needs.

In addition to increasing efficiency, the new paperless system, according to Lands executive Francis Thoya in Mombasa, will reduce/eliminate, corruption loopholes, delays in processing applications and loss of files and documents associated with paper/manual application.

Manuel Moses, IFC’s Head for the East Africa region said of the launch in Mombasa county system, “automating construction permits will lead to an improved investment climate at the counties by easing the burdens on business such as logistics and unexpected costs through middlemen or liaison officers. This will help businesses to conduct their operations more simply, lead to cost savings and enable them to grow.” The e-construction permit management system will also encourage investment.

The e-construction permit will enable us to not only deliver on our mandates but also significantly improve the county’s business environment,” H.E. Hassan Joho, Governor or Mombasa County said in relation  to the development.

The eCP system will aid in approval of submitted plans by architects, who submit the plans via the online portal. It will necessitate quick award of a Certificate of Occupancy, which shows a building complies to local laws/building codes. In addition to tracking the application, users will be notified on their mobile phones. The use of the e-construction permit management system would allow faster reviewal by related bodies such as Development Control, Forward Planning, Fire Protection, Roads, Housing Development, Structural, Public Health (MOH), Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company, NEMA, Kenya Railways, KAA, Monitoring & Enforcement.

The Nairobi e- construction permit management system portal can be accessed via: https://ccn-ecp.or.ke

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