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Ugandan regulators condemn more than 500 buildings in Kampala

Officials stopped this construction site in Ntinda, Kampala for going against building regulations and standards by deviating from its initial construction plan.

Kampala. Over 500 buildings in Uganda’s capital have been condemned by regulators following a massive crackdown on illegal structures. The move, initiated by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), comes after an assessment of structures in the city’s five divisions.

A condemned building or property is one that local authorities have closed, seized or placed under restrictions for various reasons, including public safety and public health, in accordance with local ordinance.

The crackdown follows a technical assessment report by KCCA over the last two years which found that there are 504 illegal buildings constructed without proper approvals in the city.

To that effect, the police, KCCA and NBRB conducted a joint crackdown on Thursday that, among other measures, halted the construction of a proposed restaurant and office building on Plot 20196, Block 216 in Ntinda for deviating from the approved building plans.

According to Eng Flavia Bwire, the Executive Secretary of the National Building Review Board, much as the building had been approved for a restaurant and office space, the proprietor will not be allowed to partition it into an international school without clearance.

“The drawings for this site were submitted for approval and the KCCA building committee differed them and asked for additional information. However, the developer ignored KCCA advice and went ahead with the construction,” Eng Bwire said.

Other construction sites including commercial buildings and fuel stations along Salaama Road in Makindye Division, were also halted for altering the initial building plans. Eng Justus Akakwasa, the Acting Director of Engineering and Technical Services in KCCA, said the agencies aso stopped the construction of new fuel stations in Kampala.

Under the Building Control Act, 2013, section 40, a building committee may by notice in writing, order any person to stop a building operation, in instances where the operation is done in a manner that is contrary to the provisions of the Act.

For example, if there is non-compliance with the health and sanitation requirements prescribed in the Building Control Regulations, 2020 and also in scenarios where a building has no access for persons with disabilities and where a building site is predisposed to flooding and poor drainage system.

In the recent past, many lives and properties have been lost to buildings collapsing. This is as a result of contracting unprofessional manpower by some proprietors, use of substandard building materials and contravening the set laws and regulations.

In May last year, three builders were seriously when a four-storey building under construction in Bunga, Kampala, collapsed. Likewise, in March this year, two people died and others sustained injuries after a ceiling of a church on Fidodido building along Kampala road collapsed while congregants were attending a lunch hour fellowship inside. –