By Vision Reporter
Key data on past earthquake occurrences in Uganda which has been vandalized following a land wrangle in Entebbe could affect development in the country, according to an official from the geology department.
This follows ongoing demolition of structures on Plot 1a Hill Road in Entebbe which houses the seismological centre. The New Vision reported recently that the structures were demolished by an unknown private investor, with presence of armed men.
The seismological centre in Entebbe was established in October 1925 after the inception of the Department of Geological Survey and Mines in 1919 by the British colonial Government.
The centre became instrumental in collecting national seismological and weather data until 1971. It was revived for earthquake monitoring activities and a National Seismological Network was set up to monitor seismicity in the country and surroundings.
The geologist who preferred anonymity because he is a civil servant not authorized to talk to the press said, “You cannot build high structures without ground records. You need these records and without such information you will have unstable structures.”
He said that for instance, consultants for the oil refinery project in western Uganda had asked for the data on earthquake occurrences in order to inform the design. “Without adequate information to inform design, there is a risk of collapse of such structures,” he added.
He said that gathered data inform provides information to oil companies, structural engineers, insurance companies, mining companies, nuclear test verification as well as academic and research institutions.
The data is utilized for proper land use planning for settlement and guiding the drilling for oil and gas, monitoring oil and gas extraction, groundwater, earthquake insurance, and structural designs.
The official also noted that the developer has ignored a recent order by lands minister Daudi Migereko to halt demolition; and cancelation of the land title issued irregularly on Government land.