Consider PWDs in building plans – govt

Ms Hellen Asamo, the State Minister for Disabilities who represented the Vice president Jessica Alupo (forth left), with all the winners of the National Building Control Awards in Kampala last Friday. PHOTO/BUSEIN SAMILU

What you need to know:

The government wants inclusive building plans and structures.

Developers of buildings and other structures have been asked to always make their buildings accessible to all people including Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) by putting in ramps, lifts, parking spaces, sanitation and firefighting mechanisms.

During the inaugural National Building Control Awards (NCBA) held in Kampala last Friday, Vice President Jessica Alupo, in a speech read by the State Minister of Disability Ms Hellen Asamo, said developers must prioritise inclusivity while coming up with these structures.

“Accessibility and fire safety should further be supplemented with environment friendly construction practices if the vision of promoting and ensuring planned, decent and safe building structures to be achieved,” she said.


The National Building Review Board (NBRB) in its recent audit found out that only 11.8 percent of the monitored 2,306 occupied buildings across 11 cities were compliant.

It also found that 18.3 percent of the 3,336 that were under construction were compliant with the requirements.

In the areas of fire safety, the audit found out that 20 percent of the occupied buildings and 7.8 percent of the ongoing construction sites had a provision of firefighting equipment.

The Building Control Act 2013, mandates all developers to construct buildings that are accessible to all persons including PWDs. Section 54 of the same Act calls for the destruction of buildings that do not qualify and mandates the district engineer and building control committees to approve plans of any structure before being erected.

Ms Alupo said developers should always put these requirements in mind because the National Resistance Movement-led government has prioritised the construction sector as one of the key pillars of the country’s growth.

She said the “sector was a cornerstone, breathes life into our infrastructure, fuels economic growth and provides livelihoods to countless families”.

The NCBA awards were organised by the NBRB in partnership with the Uganda National Action on Physical Disability (UNAPD) under the theme: accessibility and fire safety in the built environment.

The NBRB executive secretary, Ms Flavia Bwire, said the awards aimed at recognising buildings that are easily accessible by all people .

“Accessibility is the cornerstone of creating environments that foster inclusivity and dignity for all. It transcends physical structures, it embodies the spirit of ensuring that spaces are welcoming and usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities,” Ms Bwire said.

The State Minister for Housing, Ms Persis Namuganza who was represented by her Lands counterpart, Mr Sam Mayanja, said they are developing the Real Estate Bill.

The Bill will make it mandatory for all developers to consider the PWDs during construction.

Award winners

• Educational institution - Machine workshop (Kichwamba UTC)

• Health institution - Kawempe National Referral Hospital

• Religious institution – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints Jinja 

• Mercantile (commercial) - Soroti main Market

• Residential (Condominium) -

Speke Apartments

• Hotel in Kampala- Four Points by Sheraton

•Hotels Upcountry- Mbale Resort

• Civic (Office)-URA Tower

• District & Town Council Building Committee- Nebbi District

• Cities & Municipalities Building Committee- Soroti City

• Building Control Officer- Soroti City.