Challenges and Interventions for Acquisition of Statutory Building Approvals in Kenya

A Case Study of Nairobi City County

  • Irene Nyokabi Wamuyu University of Nairobi
Keywords: Approving personnel, Building approval, Construction projects, Developers, Statutory requirements


The acquisition of statutory building approvals required by developers has been cited as one of the hindrances to adequate and affordable housing. With the rate of urbanization in Kenya estimated at 32.8% and an annual deficit in housing at 200,000 units, it is inevitable to evaluate the building approval process. The ease of doing business in the construction industry has to be done in tandem with streamlining the building approval process in Nairobi City County. This paper sought to evaluate the challenges of acquiring statutory building approvals and interventions that can be employed to increase efficiency in provision of building approvals. The study employed a qualitative research methodology to describe and understand the various challenges and interventions as tied to the construction process. Data was collected via questionnaires administered to 30 developers. The findings indicate there is a multiplicity of institutions and laws that govern the approval process. Various challenges in acquiring building approvals as revealed by findings were discussed and rated by the developers with the delay in acquiring development approval and uncertainty in approval time being the challenges that were most significant. Interventions were also reported and an increase in the personnel and formulation of e-one-stop shop to deal with the approval process were established as the most significant. This study recommends the need for the government to sensitize developers on the approvals applicable to construction projects and evaluate the approval process in order to make Kenya attractive to foreign investment. There is also need to examine the various approvals as well as the approving institutions in order to determine the viability in the long run of the number of approvals’ need for a project and institutions involved. Through this effort, there would be more coordination and harmonization of development approving agencies resulting in reduction of cost and time optimization of development projects.