9/22 to 10/20- Permit Acquisitions for Building November 29, 2012

Mr. Selveraj, my friend and consultant Kevin, a student of Mr. Selveraj who is from the area named George, and myself went to Nyahururu to visit Simon Muchiri, the potential engineer who will be responsible for building the first structures of the Children’s Home. We met in Nyahururu town and quickly escaped the crowded main street to go to the site and to discuss the plan. The few days before this meeting I drew up a basic outline of how the Home should look. While standing on the land we could all feel and visualize the completed Home as we went over the potential layout.

This wasn’t time to pick the contractor, but Simon got us off to a good start in terms of telling us what we need to do before we can begin building. We left Nyahururu to drive back to Nairobi, contemplating the tasks ahead of us.

I spent the next week consulting other professionals to get a detailed list of the exact permits and certifications we needed in order to begin building, and then spent the next month working with various people and agencies in order to acquire all of these permits and certifications. The list goes like this: First acquire the blueprint and site plan from the engineer, then get this blue print approved by the District Public Health Office and the District Physical Planning Office, then get the “Change of User” documents together and submit all of the previous to the County Council for approval, while simultaneously assisting the NEMA Lead Expert so he can prepare the NEMA report (National Environment Management Association).

All of this sounds straight forward, but dealing with government officials will never be simple. Each one of those permits required special paperwork and signatures necessary in order to get the approval and move on to the next stage. This run-around would have been somewhat tolerable if it didn’t require us to keep running back and forth to both sides of the district! Nyahururu is in the Laikipia District which is currently going through a re-structuring process. Some signatures required us to travel to Laikipia East government offices, while other stamps required us to travel to Laikipia West government offices. Please understand that travelling directly from Laikipia East to Laikipia West is no short and simple journey. All of this running around and red tape dodging would STILL be tolerable if we wouldn’t spend a full day travelling to one place, for an officer to tell us we have to first travel across the district to get a stamp and then come back to that office to get the neccessary signatures!

All in all we should all be happy it was completed as quickly and efficiently as it was. We should not be happy about all the hidden fees along the way, but that, too, seems to be an unavoidable part of Kenya right now.

Now that the permits have been acquired we can begin construction, which brings me back to Nyahururu.

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Original Blueprint of the Children’s Dormitory:



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