Sunday March 9 2014

Gulu landlords resist demolition of creaky buildings

By Julius Ocungi & Cissy Makumbi

Gulu Town is pursuing a city status, but the buildings in the municipality defeat the justification.
Two years ago, an assessment on structural, electrical, environmental and physical aspects of buildings within Gulu Municipality, showed that 44 out of over 200 buildings surveyed were condemned as unfit for human occupation.
Owners were advised by the municipal authorities to demolish the buildings and construct new ones. However, landlords instead renovated some of the condemned buildings.

Gulu Municipality Mayor George Labeja says a committee was set up to assess the status of the questionable buildings, but the probe team has not produced its findings.

“It seems some members on the committee are also owners of the condemned structures, thus failing to do the work as required. We shall get a new committee that we hope will give us results,” Mr Labeja said.
Speaker Gulu Municipal council Kerry Komakech says the committee has never presented its findings to the council.

“We are policy makers, not implementers. Our concerns are; how sustainable are those renovated structures? There are worries especially at this time when we expect heavy rains,” Mr Komakech said.
In 2012, under their umbrella association of Gulu Property Land Owners Association, landlords protested the proposed demolition of the buildings.