NAIROBI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to promote construction of green buildings in order to enhance sustainability in the construction industry, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, told journalists in Nairobi that to support the use of green housing initiatives, the Kenyan government has embarked on the provision of enabling environment through development of policies and regulatory frameworks.
"The Built Environment Bill 2017 and the Housing Bill 2017 when enacted will go a long way in ensuring safety and environmental sustainability in the building industry," Macharia said during the launch of the Kenya Building Research Centre Strategic Plan (2017-2022).
He said green houses are ideal for the country as they use minimum water and energy resources. Macharia noted that the housing sector is responsible for a significant portion of the green house gas emissions in Kenya.
In addition, Macharia noted that the widespread adoption of a green construction industry will enable Kenya to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, which recognizes the crucial role the building and construction sectors play in climate change mitigation and adaptation processes.
He noted that the government is keen to provide incentives for the private sector to uptake green buildings given that the construction industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
According to the ministry, the uptake of green houses is low due to the perception that they are very costly.
"The truth is that green buildings are cheaper in the long run because they have lower maintenance costs," Macharia said.