EDITORIAL: New construction permit issuance system timely

Yesterday, Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) launched a new system to manage building permits in secondary cities across the country.

Yesterday, Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) launched a new system to manage building permits in secondary cities across the country. 

The Building Permit Management Information System (BPMIS) is designed to allow applicants to submit online permit requests, shorten the time required for one-stop centres to assess, approve and provide timely feedback.

 

The new system is good news for the construction sector which, in the past, has grappled with sprouting of illegal structures. 

 

In 2013, Nyagatare, one of the beneficiary cities, suffered a serious catastrophe as a result of flouting of construction rules.  

 

Four people were killed and several others injured after a four-storey building that was under construction collapsed in the district. 

The victims were reportedly working on the building when it caved in and investigations later revealed that authorisation of construction had not followed the required standards.  

The new system will go a long way in ensuring that such cases don’t happen again.

Also, one of the reasons why people in the past were constructing without permits was because of the bureaucracy that was associated with getting a permit, and lack of transparency which made it easy for some people to get construction permits illegally. The new system makes the process transparent and also hard for someone to acquire a construction permit illegally. 

On top of saving time, the system will also help applicants cut costs because most submissions for construction permits, that were being conducted manually, will now be made online.

If the new system is effectively implemented, it will go a long way in ensuring that all buildings that come up are safe and don’t pose any danger to the public.

In the long-run, the system should be rolled out across the whole country.

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