Architects face tight regulations in new law

Sunday July 21 2019

Mr Robert Kigundu, the chairman of Architects

Mr Robert Kigundu, the chairman of Architects Registration Board. Courtesy Photo 

By Derrick Wandera

Architects will face tight regulations stipulated in the new by-law which is aimed at wiping away outdated professionals who refuse to get contemporary knowledge on the new styles of building designs.
The by-law dubbed “Continuous Professional Development,” unveiled to architects in Ntinda during the course of the week, stipulates that architects will be required to raise a minimum of 20 points per annum for them to be able to practice.
“The points will be raised through attending seminars, lectures and reading relevant books which add on the knowledge to the professionals. If someone does not raise the points, we shall not allow them to practice and they will face disciplinary action from the board,” said Mr Robert Kigundu, the chairman of Architects Registration Board.
There are about six main engagements for the architects around the country which will accumulate points and according to the board, they will be weighed differently based on the amount of knowledge given out to the professionals.
“We have come up with this law to try and regulate the professionals because most of the architects practicing are not certified by the board. Some of them went to school in the early 1990s so their skills have outlived their usefulness so they need to be updated. But if we ask them to do that on individual basis, they will not and yet we are having problems of buildings collapsing,” Mr Kigundu said.

In the recent past, there have been a number of tragic incidents of collapsing walls and according to experts, it was as a result of poor architectural design and monitoring.
Last month, four members of the same family perished after a neighbour’s wall fence collapsed on their house in Seguku, off Entebbe road, following a morning downpour.
Another incident happened a fortnight ago where wall fence at Lohana High School, off Namirembe Road, Old Kampala, has collapsed killing six street children and injuring two others.
These raised public outrage blaming it on professionals who have failed to live to their expectations in making ensuring the construction of the buildings are done to the expectation.
Mr Kiguundu apportioned the blamed on ‘’a small number of architects’’ in the country, who do shoddy work causing the collapse of some of the buildings.
Figures from the Architects Registration Board show that there are only 278 registered professionals allowed to practice as of 2019.
Ms Verna Mwinganisa, a professional architect said apart from the course being long and laborious, many professionals do not practice architecture after graduation and that is why there are only a few in the field.
“We have seen this number and you know there are many construction sites across the country. This law will help in making sure that no one practices without authorisation because they will have stickers and posters at their sites issued by the board,” Ms Mwinganisa said.