THE president of the Uganda Society of Architects has asked government to employ more architects at different urban authorities to improve the design of structures in the country
By Vivian Agaba
THE president of the Uganda Society of Architects (USA), Robert Kiggundu has asked government to employ more architects at different urban authorities to improve the design of structures in the country.
Speaking at the 11th African Union of Architects Congress (AUA) at Speke Resort, Munyonyo on Monday, Kiggundu said that despite the existence of law that requires all urban authorities to have an architect as a salaried member of staff, it is only Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) that is known to have only one architect.
"Every urban authority is supposed to have an architect to make proper design plans on how and where structures are supposed to be constructed. However, only KCCA is known to have an architect, but one architect is not enough for a city as big as Kampala," said Kiggundu.
Kiggundu noted that unqualified people continue to masquerade as architects and design buildings or selling plans downloaded from the internet.
He was also concerned the way in which the public in some cases officers of both the central and local governments continue to treat architecture as a peripheral profession to the extent that architectural positions are being occupied by unqualified people or those from other professions.
"Buildings continue to collapse after construction, because of the increasing number of masqueraders and this usually leaves us with poorly designed buildings," he said.
The five-day conference is organized under the theme "Our Architecture, Our Communities, Our Heritage," by Uganda Society of Architects.
It is attended by architects from all over Africa including; Uganda, the host country, Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Nigeria.
Others are Tunisia, South Africa, Angola, Algeria, Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Burkina Faso, Mauritius and India.
Jennifer Musisi, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) pointed out that in the process of rapid urbanization in Uganda, some of the historical buildings have been demolished instead of being blended with the new architecture.
"As stakeholders, we need to work together to preserve our African heritage and our old buildings as we embrace rapid urbanization," she said.
Musisi noted that unlike Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa still faces challenges of insufficient housing, infrastructure and increased urbanization.
"This leads to growth of slums characterized with a lot of urban poverty and rising inequality in terms of living conditions"
"To be a better continent, Africans must work together and confront the challenges of urbanization for sustainable development," she noted.
The president African Union of Architects, Tokunbo Omisore, said that a linkage between rural and urban development is very crucial in the level of development in Africa.
"To improve the standards of living of people and transform the cities into desired places, people must be sensitized or process ought to fail," he said.
Omisore applauded Musisi for excellent work not only in improving KCCA but also improving the lives of some Ugandans through income generating activities the authority is involved in that have also created employment opportunities.
Kiggundu said that this year's congress seeks to explore and emphasize the importance of African heritage in the design of our built environments in the face of increasing urbanizations and social pressures.
Government asked to employ more architects