The first electronic construction permit system in Kenya, dubbed the Electronic Development Application Management System (e-DAMS), is set to be officially launched in Kiambu County this week.
This was announced by Douglas Gicho, ICT Director, Kiambu County, who was speaking at the Sixth CIO 100 Symposium and Awards, where he pointed out that the system would be launched on the 17th of November.
According to Gicho, the Electronic Development Application Management System (e-DAMS) will change the way communities across the County of Kiambu do business, by speeding the construction permit process for the people most involved—builders, inspectors, and plan reviewers—and providing better and more timely information to decision makers, managers, and staff throughout the County of Kiambu.
A description of the project on Kiambu County’s official website describes the building permit system as a set of laws and procedures that all building practitioners, such as builders, architects, planners, specialized design consultants, and contractors, have to abide by when engaging in the construction of a new building or in the modification of an existing building that has structural implications.
“The main objective of regulating building permits is to ensure the health and safety of the community. Sound regulation of construction helps protect the public from faulty building practices. This has important implications for policy-makers who need to strike the right balance between the cost and checks imposed on industry and the real benefits in safety and health standards,” the description added.
“The building permit process also plays a critical “gate-keeper” role in protecting a range of other public goods such as preventing construction close to airports, and protecting the environment or preventing potentially harmful industries from locating in residential areas. When this “gate-keeper” function is not carefully managed and coordinated with the relevant authorities, an insurmountable bureaucracy may emerge, which is likely to discourage investment, and increase the level of informality. Carefully managing the “gate-keeper” role is an important factor in the success of building permit reforms,” it continued.
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