President William Ruto’s ambitious affordable housing project may take longer than promised to materialise after it emerged that the Housing Ministry does not have enough professionals to deliver the plan.
On Tuesday, the State Department of Public Works disclosed they were facing an acute shortage of technical staff to support the project.
Appearing before the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Housing, Urban Planning, and Public Works, Principal Secretary Joel Arumonyang lamented they currently have less than 400 technical staff.
“The limited number of architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and other professionals has hindered our ability to provide effective service,” the PS stated.
State Department for Public Works Principal Secretary Joel Arumonyang during a committee meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Parliament of Kenya
The committee chairperson Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ngeno questioned how the department will ensure the housing units are delivered with the shortage.
Ruto’s ambitious affordable housing plan aims to deliver at least 200,000 units annually.
“This vision cannot be realised if the Department responsible for maintaining industry standards and quality, faces such a severe staff shortage,” Ngeno remarked.
To ensure the plan is implemented as promised, the committee directed the PS to present a comprehensive report with information on all the staffing requirements of the institution.
Ngeno asked Arumonyang to include any additional support the department may need to guarantee the housing plan is fulfilled.
“We are fully committed to assisting the department in achieving its objectives. It is essential for public work staff to ensure that all government projects adhere to professional standards, from design to completion,” the MP added.
With the housing projects, the Ruto aims to provide Kenyans with affordable houses and create jobs for the youth.
Ruto has touted the plan as a boost to his job creation agenda but has fallen short of detailing how the projects will be facilitated in all the counties.
“Many people were wondering Why are you pushing this housing agenda? Who told you we need a house? We all have houses what is this? It wasn’t so much about the houses it was so much about the jobs for the young people of Kenya,” Ruto stated in early August.
President William Ruto speaking at Sagana Lodge on Sunday, August 6, 2023.