Ministry to set strict building guidelines

The Ministry of Infrastructure has liaised with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to help them in developing proper construction standards and codes to guide the construction practice in Rwanda.

The Ministry of Infrastructure has liaised with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to help them in developing proper construction standards and codes to guide the construction practice in Rwanda.

In this regard, BSI sent three consultants led by Tariq Nawaz to work hand-in-hand with the Ministry in developing and instituting codes and standards to guide construction. 

“I have gathered some information from the time I came to Rwanda. It’s quite clear that there are no clear-cut building regulations and standards, and there are big gaps in the professional capacity of engineers, quantity surveyors and craftsmen to do the work,” said Nawaz, during an interview with The New Times.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Linda Bihire, said that developing codes and standards is a necessity if the construction industry is to develop and attain local and international markets.

“We have already documented the codes and standards to guide the construction practice, courtesy of BSI. In this, we are very committed to ensuring people’s safety and professionalizing the construction industry in Rwanda,” said Bihire. She further added that one of the biggest problems in Rwanda is lack of materials.

“Most of the building materials are imported. There is going to be strict screening of these materials so that second grade materials are not used in construction,” she said.

“We shall make sure that there is strict supervision at all levels, starting from the initial stage to the end of construction, and samples of materials will have to first be tested in the laboratory to ensure quality,” Bihire underscored.

The Minister also revealed that all the stakeholders in the construction business had been consulted and that they were all positive about the development of the codes and standards.

According to Nawaz’s study of the Rwandan construction industry, certain basic services such as water, power, drainage systems, sanitation, access and emergency routes should be planned and incorporated on a building.

A team of people will be trained and tasked to monitor all buildings at all stages to ensure that buildings are constructed through the right channels, following set standards.

Local materials such as stones, sand, cement and others will also be tested and standardized, depending on their durability and authenticity, so that only acceptable and quality materials are used in construction. 

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