Time Bomb: 78% of Buildings in Kampala and new Cities have no approved plans -Survey

Rescuers flock the scene of a collapsed building in Kisenyi on Monday, Rubaga Division Kampala; Courtesy Photo

78.3 per cent of building structures in the 11 cities of Uganda, both complete and those still under construction, do not comply with the required standards -a recent survey has revealed.

A survey conducted by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) between June and July 31st 2021, showed that majority of the buildings had no approved plans, no building permits and are not under supervision by professionals.

According to a statement from NBRB, the the survey conducted in cities including Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Arua, Mbarara, Masaka, Fort Portal, and Hoima showed that of the 5,642 properties which were inspected,overall compliance of the properties monitored was at 22.7%.

It was also found out that 25.9% of the complete/ occupied buildings have no maintenance plans and occupation permits.

The findings show that of the active construction sites inspected, 6% acquired building permits, 6% are under supervision of building professionals, 0% use PPE, 0% are hoarded sites, and only 4.7% had the provision of sign board information on site. Of all the properties inspected, 3,336 were active sites while 2,306 were complete buildings.

In the statement issued on October 4, NBRB says, the limited involvement of professionals explains the chronic problems in the building industry. The perpetual non-involvement of professionals explains why buildings are collapsing.

While the overall compliance levels were below 25%, NBRB says, the data collected indicated that Hoima City had the highest level of compliance (30.2%) while Lira was at the lowest level of compliance (11.5%).

The National Building Review Board (NBRB) is an agency of government under the Ministry of Works and Transport mandated to ensure the implementation of the Building Control Act, 2013 which among others was enacted to consolidate, harmonize laws relating to the erection of buildings, to provide for the building standards and to promote and ensure planned, decent and safe building structures in the country.

According to Eng Flavia, the purpose of the survey was to acquire a better understanding of the compliance of the ongoing construction sites and the complete Buildings to the Act.

Eng Bwire says, during implimentation of the Act, it was found out that there was no baseline information on the compliance of the building operations (both ongoing and complete) hence the decision to collect data.

A team of 95 graduates was hired in the two months exercise to undertake the survey which commenced on June 01, 2021, and was completed on 31st July 2021.

The exercise considered the following parameters:

1) For the complete buildings – Presence of Building Permission (approved Building Plans), Occupation Permits, Engagement of Professionals in the Building Operations, Presence of a maintenance Schedule, Documentation/ As-built drawings and Compliance with PWDs Requirements.

2) Active Construction Sites – Presence of Building Permission (approvals of Plans), Evidence of Building permits, Engagement of Professionals during the building operation, Compliance with PWDs Requirements, Compliance with HSE requirements and Building Site operation and management.

As way forward, NBRB intends to issue the detailed findings relating the 5,642 properties inspected to the respective City Building Committees for further management.

“All City, Municipality, Town Council and District Accounting Officers through their Building Control offices and the Building Committees are advised to ensure compliance of all building operations in their jurisdictions to the Act. Property developers are advised to adhere to the Act in order to avoid the potential loss life and property” the statement reads in part.

Eng Flavia Bwire assured the general public of the Board’s commitment to ensuring that the control of building operations is done in conformity with the established legal framework.




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