You can’t live in incomplete structures, says new law

Thursday February 13 2020

Banned. An occupied incomplete building in

Banned. An occupied incomplete building in Jinja. The new Building Control Act bans occupation of incomplete structures. PHOTO BY DENIS EDEMA 


The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) says it will enforce the Building Control Act (2013) that came into effect in February 2018 and ban the occupation of incomplete structures.

The acting director of Physical Planning and Urban Development in MLHUD, Mr Vincent Byendaimira, on Tuesday said they arrived at this decision after seeing many buildings collapse in the country.

“The country is growing and many changes are coming up; with the growing population, there is need to regulate proper construction of buildings,” Mr Byendaimira said.

He was speaking during a workshop for physical planners, environment officers, engineers and health inspectors from 22 municipalities in Jinja District.

Jinja Town and its peripheries are home to several incomplete structures, which are being occupied both for commercial and residential purposes.

According to the law, the developer will not be allowed to occupy the building until it is completed and is issued with a certificate of occupation or unless they apply for a temporary occupation permit as per the current Building Control Act.


The acting executive secretary of National Building Review Board, Ms Flavia G Bwire, said the law comprises the building committee of engineers and architects, who will be in charge of the district and municipal engineers, health inspectors, environmental officers and physical planners.

“This time physical planners will only do the planning of the area that is to be developed but construction will be supervised by building committees and building control officers, an independent body in the law,” she said.

Ms Bwire added that the National Review Building Board sent a team of engineers to investigate the collapsed building in Jinja and a report is being compiled.

“We were paying attention to building plans but this time a lot of emphasis is being put on the entire process of acquiring land, building materials and the engineer doing the work,” she said.

She said sometimes houses collapse because builders fail to follow the exact plan of the building.


Collapsed building. On January 15, a storeyed building collapsed on Gokhale Road in Jinja Town, killing six people and injuring scores.

The building collapsed while workers, including those who were doing finishing and installation of electricity, were on duty.

Witnesses suggest that more than 20 workers were on the site when the incident happened.
Although police is yet to issue an official statement explaining why the building collapsed, Mr Simon Kasirye, one of the residents, attributed it to poor workmanship.