‘This is the end of the world’: The devastating impacts of COVID-19
A group of architects and engineers have been ordered to build a house in an isolated village in Kenya’s remote east after being told they must build a “stainless steel” roof.
The building materials, designed to withstand the effects of COID-19, have been handed over to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MOHAD) to be used to build the new house.
A spokesman for the ministry said it was considering the request.
The architects said they wanted to use the materials to make a building for their village, called Sankolwala, that has no electricity or running water.
The structure, which is on a plateau that rises above the forest, has a total of six houses, including a three-bedroom home.
In the future, the architects said, they will be able to sell the building material at a lower price than the government has been charging.
The village, which has a population of about 3,500, has been a hotbed of COIDS-19 activity since October, when the virus killed more than 500 people in a town near the capital, Nairobi.
There have been some positive results from a vaccine, but a large part of the community has not been vaccinated because of fear of possible side-effects.
Mr Sanko Nwelo, the architect, said he was worried about the health effects of the new home, which will be built on a hilltop overlooking a large forested area and will house six people.
The roof will be made of “stainingless steel”.
He said the structure would have to withstand an earthquake as well as a typhoon, but added: “I think this is the last thing that will stop the epidemic.”
Mr Sango said the architects would not be taking on the project if the government did not allow them to.
He said he did not know the price the government was asking for the building materials.
The ministry did not reply to a request for comment.
Mr Nwelo said he hoped the government would reconsider the request and give the building owners a refund, although he said he had not been given the chance to talk with anyone from the ministry since his request was sent.
“I hope they can come up with some alternative plan,” he said.
The government has not responded to a detailed request for details about the cost of the project, but said the costs would be shared with the local government.
The MOHAD said the project would be the first of its kind in Kenya and the only one in the country.
It said that the government wanted to give the villagers “a positive outcome and a positive future” through building a home in a remote location that would provide them with access to electricity, water and other resources.
The project was approved last week by the National Planning and Development Commission, which oversees the planning and development of rural areas.