UN-Habitat and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding indicating a new phase of cooperation between the two institutions.
|Mr. Kennedy Mohochi, Chief Operating Officer, at KAM and Mr. Andre Dzikus of UN-HABITAT at the signing of the Memorandum of Association in Nairobi.
The agreement signed in Nairobi, by Andre Dzikus on behalf of UN-Habitat and the Chief Operating Officer, Kennedy Mohochi for KAM, is aimed at building the capacity of stakeholders in Kenya on energy efficiency measures in the construction, operation and maintenance of both residential and commercial buildings.
The agreement provides a framework for collaboration on joint advocacy for the promotion of green buildings in Kenya. This will be achieved through the creation of dedicated credit lines for financing resource efficiency in buildings; capacity building; development of a green building rating system and tools; and establishment of a Green Buildings award system in Kenya.
Speaking at the signing ceremony and press conference, Mr. Dzikus – the Coordinator of the Basic Urban Services Branch at UN-Habitat - stated that the industrial sector had enormous potential for energy savings thereby serving as a cost effective strategy for improving productivity and building the national economy.
Mr. Vincent Kitio, Chief of UN-Habitat’s Energy Unit reinforced this perspective stating that an estimated 50 per cent of the total energy generated in developing countries was used in urban buildings alone, consuming more energy than the transport or industrial sectors. He further said that the building sector, accounted for 38 per cent of greenhouse gas emission worldwide, contributing significantly to climate change.
He confirmed that the joint agreement was developed in line with the programme on ‘Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa’ aimed at mainstreaming energy efficiency measures into housing policies, building codes, housing finance and building practices in East Africa both to save energy and cut back greenhouse gas pollution.
With funding to the tune of USD 2,853,000 from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and in kind co-funding of USD 12 million from five East African countries, Mr. Kitio said that the target was “to promote the construction of at least 400,000 energy efficient housing units by the end of the programme cycle”. The programme he explained was jointly designed by UN-Habitat in collaboration with its sister agency UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the governments of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
Also speaking at the press event, Mr. Kennedy Muhochi stated that the Kenya Association of Manufacturers was the leading representative organization for industry in Kenya. For this reason, the Association would play a key role in raising awareness among its wide network of members on greener construction practices thereby making significant contribution to the reduction of green house gases.
As a first step towards mutual cooperation, the two institutions took the opportunity to kick start a three day “Green Buildings Training” in Nairobi attended by different building stateholders. This event is set to be an annual training programme. The course is conducted by experts from UN-Habitat and Italy, including Professor Federico Butera from “Politecnico di Milano,” Department of Architecture, Built environment and Construction Engineering.
Prof. Federico Butera is also the leading author of the “Integrated Building Design - Handbook of Sustainable Architecture in the East African community climates”. He indicated that the Green Buildings guidelines were developed jointly with UN-Habitat with the aim of providing concrete passive building solutions and strategies to design and construct environmentally sound buildings. An advanced draft copy of the handbook was presented at the press conference and it is being used for the Green Building Training. The final copy will be available at the end of the year 2013.