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Over 58% of buildings in Kampala are illegal

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th August 2009 03:00 AM

Over 58% of the buildings in and around Kampala do not have approved architectural plans as required by the law, Works and Transport minister John Nasasira, has said.

Over 58% of the buildings in and around Kampala do not have approved architectural plans as required by the law, Works and Transport minister John Nasasira, has said.

By Jeff Lule
Over 58% of the buildings in and around Kampala do not have approved architectural plans as required by the law, Works and Transport minister John Nasasira, has said.

Nasasira said the ministry’s building inspections carried out since 2004, in Kampala, Mpigi and Wakiso, revealed that only 42% of the buildings had approved architectural plans.

“Lack of approved plans and supervision by unqualified persons is the main challenge in the construction industry in our country,” he said.

Nasasira revealed this in a speech delivered by the state minister for works, John Byabagambi, at the Uganda Society of Architects symposium at Serena Conference Centre yesterday.

According to the inspection, only 39% had approved structural engineering designs, 5% had electrical engineering designs, 48% had qualified architects supervising the works, 49% had a structural engineer supervising the works, and only 15% had a signboard.

Nasasira stressed that failure to enforce policies, laws and regulations had been the main problem of the building industry.

“Population explosion has led to emergence of unplanned settlements and slums, while lack of will to enforce the law due to indifference, corruption or apathy is also another challenge,” he noted.

The minister said the major causes of construction related accidents countrywide are due to inadequate design, use of unqualified personnel and substandard materials, poor construction methods and poor workmanship.

“Failure of builders to interpret available engineering/architectural drawings and technical specifications has also contributed to the problem,” he said.

“Neglect or lack of regular effective maintenance of building structures and installation has aggravated the problem.”
Nasasira said between 1997 and 2009, 13 cases of building accidents took place, killing 97 and injuring 151 people.

He said the ministry has proposed a Building Control Bill to ensure planned, decent and safe building structures corresponding with the environment.

Under the Bill, which is before cabinet, a person whose negligence, commission, or omission causes or leads to occurrence of an accident on a site which results in injury or death of another person(s), destruction of property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not less than sh20m or imprisonment up to 12 years or both.

In addition, Byabagambi said also the owners of the buildings would be charged under the same law for employing unprofessional personnel at their sites.

“This time the owners are also answerable unlike before. If you do not employ professionals the law will get you this time,” he said.

The ministry has also proposed to amend the current Engineers Registration Act (1969), to provide a regulatory frame work that will enforce registration of engineers as a prerequisite for the practice of engineering and permit professional responsibility, traceability and accountability.

The proposed law once operationalised would include; a new Engineering Council to replace the ‘Engineers Registration Board’, a full time staffed Secretariat to manage efficient administration, A Professional Code of Ethics in the regulatory frame work, Continuous Professional Development, Recognition and Regulation of Practice by Allied Proffessionals.

Byabagambi said the new amendment includes an annual practicing license for nay person who intends to practice his/her profession capacity either privately, in partnership or in employment.

Over 58% of buildings in Kampala are illegal

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