NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A boom in Kenya’s construction sector
following political stability after disputed elections
last year has seen labor costs rise as demand for masons
are currently the most sought-after personnel in the
sector, thanks to the current boom.
stability that followed truce between President Uhuru
Kenyatta and his rival in the polls Raila Odinga has
given property developers the confidence to complete
projects and start new ones.
African nation is now awash with construction projects,
both residential and commercial, in the capital and
developers have to dig deeper into their pockets to part
with up to 25 U.S. dollars a day for skilled masons and
15 dollars for unskilled workers.
costs have risen from about 20 dollars and 10 dollars
respectively or even less. On the other hand, foremen
and supervisors are demanding up to 50 dollars a day.
everyone is building now, so the costs have shot up
significantly as developers desperately look for
masons,” John Kyalo, a contractor in Kitengela, said on
supervising the construction of a seven-storey
in November last year. Then, he had no problem getting
masons at the price he could afford, but from March this
year, he has struggled.
with 25 masons but I now work with 10 at most. This has
slowed down progress,” he said of the house that is
currently being roofed. He is now paying the skilled
masons 18 dollars a day, up from 15 dollars when he
left felt I am paying low but I cannot work beyond
budget,” he said. Initially, developers in Nairobi would
import cheap labour from other towns. They would then
pay for accommodation costs for the workers.
costs in the towns have equally risen thanks to booming
real estate sector.
situation in Nairobi is exacerbated by the fact that
some construction workers are moving to the upcountry
towns as some developers seeking highly skilled workers
lure them with higher pay.
a consultant with Avent Properties in Nairobi, noted
labour costs contribute to about 30 percent of the total
costs of a project.
goes higher, then it becomes uneconomical for the
developer. It is one of the reasons costs of houses
remain high,” he said.
construction sector grew by 7.2 percent in the first
quarter, according to the Kenya National Bureau of