Kenya to update engineering standards

Moi University Eldoret, Kenya, civil engineering, British, European, standards, BelgiumMoi University Eldoret Kenya is set to replace British standards with European standards.Moi University Eldoret Kenya (School of Civil Engineering, Dept of Civil & Structural Engineering), is set to replace British standards with European standards instead

Moi University (MU) regularly enters partnerships with European Union (EU) states, especially Belgium, which provide technical aid in the form of teaching staff, skills and equipment. British Standards (BS) are predominantly used in building and engineering domains in most of Europe and are even adopted by most former Britain’s colonies such as Kenya.

Clement Miheso, Manager Engineering Standards at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), explained that BS shall be replaced with Euro-Standards by 2013. Local universities and tertiary technical institutions and middle-level colleges providing engineering and related courses therefore face the challenge to replace their BS teaching systems with Euro-standard systems.

Government departments and private sector bodies also dealing in and offering services in engineering and related fields (especially in structural, civil, and consulting engineering; public works and roads ministries and others) also face the challenge to embrace and adapt to Euro-standards before the changeover.

In light of this, professionals and even ordinary citizens in the country have to be made aware of the need for changeover. KEBS has already engaged a government PS (permanent secretary), Prof Onyango Obuor with a view to taking forward the sensitisation endeavours. On 14th December 2011, Mr Miheso was in a KEBS’s team that met local senior engineers regarding the same issue.

Consequently, from 13th to 14th February 2012, KEBS Standardisation & Conformity Assessment services shall partner with MU, Eldoret-Kenya and the Delft University of Technology, Dept of Design & Construction, the Netherlands (TU Delft); Free University of Brussels, Dept of Mechanics of Materials & Constructions (Vrije Univer iteit); Institutional University Cooperation, Flemish Interuniversity Council, Brussels and UOS-University of Development Cooperation to host a workshop on introduction of structural eurocodes with the theme “Change of Eurocodes for Structural Engineering in Kenya” at the MU Eldoret Campus.

Organised within the framework of the VLIR-UOS programme at MU Eldoret, its theme is based on the three key observations that:

  • The British Standard Institution has shifted to the use of Eurocodes and therefore no longer maintains and updates its British Standards.
  • Since the BS are gradually becoming obsolete, KEBS recognises the urgent need to adopt/adapt the Eurocodes as Kenyan standards for use in education and practice.
  • All Eurocodes consist of two parts, the general part, which is the same for all participating countries and the National Annex, which accommodates the local conditions of the country. Kenya has to develop its own national Annexes.

Targeting engineers, consultants, contractors, educational institutions and policy-makers in the relevant engineering fields among others, its content shall include a situational analysis on the use of design codes in Kenya; history of the development of Eurocodes; classification of Eurocodes; national annexes; design principles governing the Eurocodes; outline on how the Eurocodes will be introduced; timeframe for introduction of Eurocodes in Kenya and explanation of Eurocodes 0 and 1 on the difference with BS. KEBS and MU shall serve as the workshop secretariat.

Other institutions expected at the workshop include the roads and public work and housing ministries, the engineers’ registration board, health ministry, other universities and learning institutions and the private sector engineering concerns among others. Proceedings from the discussions shall enable KEBS to form technical committees (TCs) that shall work towards adoption and adaption of the Eurocodes in the country.

KEBS will also need to work out an MOU with MU to set the above process moving forward.

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