Ninety five districts have no registered engineers - board

Friday March 30 2018

Speaking out.  Mr Andrew Kitaka (left), the

Speaking out. Mr Andrew Kitaka (left), the KCCA director of engineering and technical services and Mr Michael Moses Odongo (2nd right), the chairman Engineers Registrations Board, address journalists at one of the collapsed buildings on Makerere Hill Road last year. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

Kampala.

Ninety five of the 121 districts in Uganda do not have registered engineers, according to a list published in the Uganda Gazette of January 25, 2018, by the Engineers Registrations Board.
The list indicates that the country has only 842 registered engineers despite thousands of them graduating from universities every year.
Of the 842 registered engineers, 720 are operating in Kampala, with only 105 scattered across the 120 districts.
Seven others are registered in Uganda but are operating in Kenya, Rwanda and the UK.
The statistic is based on the physical addresses the engineers provided upon registering with their board.
The 842 registered engineers include 774 Ugandans with full operational licences and 68 foreigners with temporary registration.
Section 18(2) of the Engineers Registration Act, Cap 271, states that engineers that are licensed by the board are the ones entitled to append the prefix ‘Eng.’ before their names.

Qualification
The Engineers Registrations Board, Dr Michael Moses Odongo, said for one to become a member, he or she must have successfully attained a Bachelor degree of science in any engineering discipline.
“We don’t care whether the degree was attained from any university abroad so long as the papers are certified and fit practice in Uganda,” Dr Odongo said.
The board registrar, Mr Ronald Namugera, yesterday told Daily Monitor that none Ugandan engineers are given temporary registration renewable annually and that their academic documents have to be verified.
“There are engineers that come to Uganda may be to work on these big projects such as roads and on the Karuma dam project. These engineers are supposed to hold temporary registration because the board has to monitor what they are doing in relation to the Ugandan standards,” Mr Namugera said. An analysis of the registered engineers’ list indicates there are 581 civil engineers, 105 electrical engineers, 86 mechanical engineers, four agricultural engineers, and two telecommunications engineers, all Ugandans. There are also 66 foreign civil engineers, one electrical engineer and one mechanical engineer.

Government tasked
Dr Odongo, who is also the executive director of the Uganda Road Fund, said the board is pushing for the enforcement of the Engineers Registrations Act, 1967, because there are many unregistered and quack engineers undertaking engineering tasks.
He said such unregulated engineers are to blame for the shoddy works in the country.
Currently, with the government injecting a lot of money in infrastructure projects, most engineers who are not registered risk losing out if the law is effectively enforced.
As a result, the ERB last week asked Local Government permanent secretary Benjamin Kumumanya to release unregistered district engineers to spend three days with top colleagues to help them go through the process of registering.
Dr Odongo said the board had realised that most engineers fail to get registered because they lack performance reports and this is attributed to lack of mentors in their areas of operation.
There are only about 20 registered district engineers across the country despite them being heads of departments at that level.
Mr Kumumanya, said he will soon grant the district engineers three days off to travel to Kampala to expedite the process of their registration.
While officiating at the inauguration of the new board of directors, Works and Transport minister Monica Azuba decried the collapsing houses under construction both in Kampala and other parts of the country.
The Minister asked the board to work with other professional bodies to ensure tight supervision of all construction works in the country.

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