What you need to know:
- Speaking at the Kampala City Building Control Barraza last Friday, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport, said the amendments are meant to fix the gaps in the current law.
Owners of collapsed buildings will be required to compensate victims including the dead should the planned amendments to the Building Control Act, 2013 be implemented, a minister has revealed.
Speaking at the Kampala City Building Control Barraza last Friday, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport, said the amendments are meant to fix the gaps in the current law.
He said under the proposed amendments, developers who sanction the construction of buildings without approval from relevant authorities or use unprofessional engineers and architects will take full responsibility in case of accidents on site.
“We are going through Cabinet where we have already taken the principles which are going to be sent to the Parliamentary Council for drafting and after we shall go to Parliament and amend but for now what I can say is that it is a process which I can’t put a time frame when it will be done,” he said.
“We have realised that there are weaknesses in the current Act, especially when these NBRB (National Building Review Board) want to implement some of their mandates. In the new amendments, we want to give them more authority so that they can be able to bite, for example for now they cannot force entry into a construction site because the law doesn’t allow them…,” he added.
Gen Katumba added that several buildings in the country have collapsed because developers employ unprofessional people in a bid to reduce the expenses.
He said his ministry recently conducted a mini-study around Kampala which indicated that only 1,500 buildings out of 5,640 had been built professionally.
“We found out that the majority of the buildings do not cater for people living with disabilities,” he said.
The Barraza was organised by NBRB under the theme: ensuring a well-planned decent and safe built Kampala city.
Ms Flavia Gutto Bwire, the executive director of NBRB, said there is a need for empowering the public to know their building rights and what to follow to come up with a safe building.
“People are applying for building licences on land which doesn’t belong to them and surprisingly these applications have land surveyors which later lead to forceful demolition of such buildings. We don’t want to see such scenarios happening again,” she said.
Mr Salim Uhuru, the mayor of Kampala Central, faulted the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) for delaying to approve building plans which has prompted people to construct without plans.
In response, Mr Peter Paul Wanyama, the building control officer at KCCA, said 60 percent of the building plans submitted by developers are always inadequate which takes a long time to approve plans.