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Property firm aids families of construction workers

By Wahinya Henry
Friday, June 19th, 2020
Antony Opwapo of Cytonn Staff hands out a welfare package to a construction site worker. Photo/PD/WAHINYA HENRY

A real estate developer has responded to the plight of 500 of its construction sector site workers faced with serious food shortage at the homestead level by donating food and other items to them as the Corona pandemic bites.

The building and construction, and the hospitality sectors particularly have been hit by lockdown measures and diminishing disposable income by most Kenyans. 

Cytonn Real Estate firm came to the rescue of the beneficiaries in three phases under its Cytonn Foundation Investments under a food drive dubbed #Support A Family initiative to support its site workers during the lockdown.

The initiative is a Cytonn staff- led initiative, collaborating with interested clients and well-wishers and has in its first outreach.

The effort is in line with the State  directive to limit activity at construction sites in order to limit the possibility of transmitting coronavirus. 

Cytonn Investments CEO Edwin  Dande says the pandemic has negatively impacted the construction works via reduction of labour.

“The pandemic’s direct impact in the real estate sector has been the immediate reduction in the labour force as construction sites adhere to guidelines,” he said.

The guidelines were issued by the National Construction Authority (NCA) requiring contractors on site to reduce the number of workers to a level that can allow workers keep at least a metre apart. 

“There has been a negative impact on the supply chains as most developers source for construction materials from as far away as China.

We expect this to translate to longer development periods owing to a shortage of resources and ultimately reduced building completions,”  he added.

Construction sites have been affected by a decline in project financing as lenders hesitate to finance construction projects owing to the current uncertainty in the economy, coupled with delayed project completion dates.

Building approvals  have also reduced construction activities by developers as public offices such as City Hall remain closed. 

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