By Patrick Jaramogi
A row over unsettled compensation is brewing between Teddy Bukirwa, a resident of Kiwonvu Zone in Makerere and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
According to Teddy Bukirwa, NWSC wrote to her in a letter dated 28 January 2014 (ref: PIU/14/10-JOB) requesting to lay sewer pipes through her property located in Kiwonvu zone along Gayaza Road.
The sewer line is part of the European Union and Federal Republic of Germany grant (sh204b) financing through KfW towards the construction of a combined sewage and faecal sludge treatment plant at Lubigi in Lubaga in Kampala with associated sewer network. NWSC is implementing the project on behalf of the government of Uganda.
The scope of the works being implemented involves construction of a new combined waste water and faecal sludge treatment plant and new sewerage pipe network.
In the letter to Bukirwa dated January 28, 2014 written by Paddy Twesigye the project coordinator, NWSC wrote: “It so happened that your property is likely to be affected by the pipelines route along the channel. We have carried out a pre cautionary measurers by evaluating your house in the event that permanent damage at a cost of Ushs80, 028,000/-. We therefore request permission to lay pipes through the way in your property.”
Twesigye in the letter that New Vision has obtained said NWSC would reinstate and make good the areas that will be affected as a result of the pipe construction works at their own cost. “More-so,” we will duly expedite the process of payment to compensate any such areas affected by the works,” said Twesigye.
But two months down the road with the construction works of Lubigi Waste Water Treatment Plant and pipe laying works within the areas of Makindye, Katwe, Katanga, Makerere and Mulago- Kubiri near completion, Bukirwa is yet to get paid.
Speaking with pain, Bukirwa told New Vision; “each time I try to get my issues to the MD NWSC (Eng. Silver Mugisha), I am denied access by the guards at the reception.”
Bukirwa said she approached the state minister for Environment Flavia Munaaba who instructed NWSC managing director Eng. Mugisha to take action. In a hand written note by the state minister dated March 11, 2014, the minister wrote; “The bearer of this note is looking for fair treatment. Please listen to her and see how you can help to avoid legal action.”
When contacted Eng. Silver Mugisha acknowledged receiving Bukirwa’s complaints and said her payments is being processed. “I am aware of her issue but coming to press won’t solve the problem. It is Eng. Amayo handling her payment issues,” said Mugisha before he handed over the phone to Amayo.
Amayo, the Chief Manager Planning and Capital development said Bukirwa was being confused by her lawyers. “We decided that we shall ascertain the cost of the damage on her house and renovate it. We shall also give her rent for the time her house is being renovated. We are waiting for the costs from our architects,” said Amayo.
But the architectural report by DAKs Associates indicates that Bukirwa’s house can’t be renovated since the damage is extensive.
“Teddy Bukirwa’s building was damaged beyond repair and our request is for you to compensate her as per the valuation report dated January 1, 2014,” noted her lawyer, Luzige, Lubega, Kavuma and Co. Advocates.
Luzige said; “Our client can neither access her shop nor her tenants yet it’s from the affected building that she derives sustenance. It is well within your knowledge that the permission to use our client’s land was never granted to you and if the same was to be granted, it would have been granted after adequate compensation.”
According to DAKS Associates, the architects, physical planners and contractors that did the damage assessment, the findings were that the damaged part of the structure is critical and advised that the possible solution is to underpin the entire sub structure.
“Given the nature of the site, the soil holding capacity is so weak to accommodate the underpinning process. The only possible solution is then to demolish and erect a new structure,” noted the damage assessment report that New Vision obtained.