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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Land surveyors: With no finances we can`t build a viable industry

28th February 2012

Smallness of land surveying firms coupled with irregular cash flow have been mentioned as some of major bottlenecks which the organizations face when it comes to accessing loan facilities from financial institutions.

This was revealed recently by Ambogo Ambago, Principal Instructor at the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) while speaking about contract conditions for land surveying firms in the country.

As a result the industry has been lagging behind, and in some occasions become dormant or unpopular among most of the stakeholders in the construction industry, he said.

In order to help the surveyors benefit from what they studied in colleges, financial institutions should come in their support so that they can perform to the expectations of the stakeholders and industry standards, he said.

He said, surveyors need to purchase modern technological equipment in order to perform in accordance with standards.

Ambago said survey firms like any other need to be liquid because mobilisation of reference data, staff and equipment is costly is usually a costly business.

In the past years, land surveying clients were used to giving advance payments for data reference mobilisation but this has stopped, he said.

Presently, the conditions of contracts require the land surveying contractors/consultants to be paid on issuance of fee notes as per the work that has already been executed, he added.

“Under these circumstances, land surveying firms have failed to secure lucrative projects, perform well, grow and prosper,” he noted.

Construction industry projects have therefore suffered from these scenarios while land surveyors have been hard hit as a result of being denied experiences associated with big and challenging projects.

He said although land surveying services are presently needed by the construction industry, it is of crucial importance to incorporate the utilisation of surveying firms in the entire process of tendering for the purpose of enhancing quality and safety of the building environment.

The public Procurement Act (PPA) No.21 of 2004 and its regulations 2005 should be amended to take into account the utilisation of land surveying services within the country, he said.

He also noted that apart from those impediments, the professional still lags behind in researching for exploitation and exploration of abundant new areas of practice. These include surveys for determination and monitoring deformation and displacements of structures as well as surveys for precise installation of industrial machines.

Others include hydrographic surveys for preparing navigation charts for exploitation of marine resources, application of Global Positioning System (GPS) in deformation monitoring, boundaries demarcation and setting-out on site, he said.

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