Collapsed building owner defied KCCA

Wednesday April 13 2016

Police Fire and Rescue services brigade search

Police Fire and Rescue services brigade search for survivors from a collapsed building on Makerere Hill Road in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Alex Esagala. 

By AMOS NGWOMOYA

Kampala

Mr Moses Kyeseka, the owner of the building on Makerere Hill Road that collapsed on Tuesday and killed four people, used a plan that had not been approved by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), officials have revealed.

The KCCA director of engineering, Mr Andrew Kitaka, told journalists near the rubble of the collapsed building that Mr Kyeseka submitted his plan in 2009 but was never allowed to continue with the construction.

“For KCCA to give you a permit, your engineer must be registered with an institute of professional engineers because some people pretend to be engineers yet they don’t have skills. We advised Mr Kyeseka to first get our approval but he couldn’t understand,” Mr Kitaka said.

He said that the owner of the building would be investigated and brought to book. It was not possible to reach Mr Kyeseka who has since the incident been inaccessible on his mobile phone.

At least four people have been confirmed dead and nine admitted to Mulago Hospital with serious injuries, according to Mr Joseph Mugisha, the Director Fire Rescue team of the Uganda Police.

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KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi inspected the site yesterday morning but did not make any remarks. Later, the Kampala Lord Mayor, Mr Eriasa Lukwago, inspected the scene where the rescue team was still digging through the rabble to find survivors.

The Lord Mayor castigated KCCA engineers, saying the continued collapse of city buildings is a black spot on their competence. “Many city buildings don’t meet the standards and this problem is particularly caused by the Directorate of Engineering at KCCA, who don’t take time to study the plans presented to them. These are the things I have always been complaining about and now that my office is still locked, I can’t do anything to rectify such problems,” said Mr Lukwago.

Mr Lukwago said KCCA doesn’t have enough capacity to respond to such calamities which need urgent intervention. In defence, Mr Kitaka noted that there are many construction sites in the city yet the directorate has only four engineers.

The Chairman of Engineers Registration Board, Dr Michael Odongo, said the building collapsed due to poor workmanship. He explained that the materials used did not meet specifications for such a high-rise building.

Mr Odongo urged property developers to always seek professional support to avoid such losses.
The Head of Department, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, Prof Henry Alinaitwe said that the building had poor design and a poor foundation. He added that there was spillage of water from the ground which could have contributed to the collapse of the building.

Mr Abdallah Ssenyonjo, a boda-boda cyclist who works at the nearby Ham Towers stage, told Daily Monitor that this building had developed cracks and that residents had been warned on several occasions to vacate it but in vain.

Similar incidents
July 2011. Seven people sustained injuries after a building under construction collapsed in the city suburb of Ntinda.
July 2012. Two construction workers were killed when a building under construction on Lugogo Bypass collapsed.
July 2013. Nice Time Arcade, Nakivubo Mews, collapsed leaving 10 people injured.

January 26, 2016.Two people died and and five others sustained injuries when a building under construction on Luwum street in the city centre collapsed

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