Govt launches construction of building material testing centre

Police officers look for survivors after a building collapsed in Kitebi, Rubaga Division in Kampala on August 17, 2021. It was later confirmed that one person died and the body was retrieved from the debris. PHOTO/FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

  • The construction of the National Building Research and Quality Assurance Centre comes at a time when several buildings have collapsed due to use of substandard materials such as cement, iron bars, sand, among others.

The Ministry of Works and Transport, alongside with the National Building Review Board, has earmarked Shs8b for the construction of a National Building Research and Quality Assurance Centre.

The centre will be used to test building materials in a bid to curb the use of substandard materials.

While launching the construction of the centre, which is located in Lubowa near Kampala on Friday, Works minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala said: “As a country, we lack the capacity to test and carryout research on building materials that are on the market. For example, recently some people came to us and said don’t waste time building with bricks, just put metal pillars, but have we researched on that to see how durable that structure will be?”

He added: “The centre will research about such materials, confirm that this kind of building is viable in our environment and has no danger to the occupants.”

The construction of the National Building Research and Quality Assurance Centre comes at a time when several buildings have collapsed due to use of substandard materials such as cement, iron bars, sand, among others.

Ms Flavia Bwire, the executive secretary of the National Building Review Board, said the centre will act like a clinic where diagnosis and prescriptions will be offered for challenges affecting the construction sector.

She added that the centre will have offices, training rooms, conference centre, a building museum and a materials laboratory.

“It is designed in complete adherence to the building control regulatory framework and to showcase locally available materials. The designs for the project have been done by an in-house team and necessary approvals obtained.”

Issue
Some of the incidents where buildings which collapsed due to alleged use of substandard construction materials include

• September 7, 2021: Six people were killed after a building under construction in Kisenyi caved in.
• August 18, 2021: A building collapsed in Kitebi-Bunamwaya in Rubaga Division, killing one person and injuring several others.
• January 24, 2020: A building collapsed in Kagugube Zone in Kampala Central Division. No deaths were registered.
• January 9, 2020: Six people died after a building collapsed in Kansanga, Makindye Division.
 

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