UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Kampala is Uganda’s commercial capital, attracting rapid development in its five divisions and surrounding areas. The capital city has embraced investment in real estate, building and construction. However this rapid development has also led to a surge in collapsing city buildings.
The latest example occurred on Monday, where a five-storey building in Kitebi collapsed, killing at least one person. This is one of several recent collapsed buildings in the Kampala Metropolitan Area that have killed dozens of people and injured many more.
Commenting on this most recent tragedy, Rubaga South MP, Aloysius Mukasa, says “I don’t know whether the structure engineer fulfilled his obligations and duties to fully ascertain the truthfulness of the plan that was issued by KCCA. We also want to know if the site inspector from Rubaga really did his job to inspect this building from its foundation.”
Mr Solomon Balemeezi, an investigations officer from the National Building Review Board (NBRB), said they are in the process of “assess[ing] the cause of the accident.”
Who is to Blame for Collapsing City Buildings?
Some people are quick to lay blame with bureaucratic processes within government agencies such as the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA).
For example, to get KCCA approval of any development plan takes at a minimum two weeks, but it is usually much longer, even months, given the backlog of approvals.
Some developers say they are under extreme pressure to construct buildings on time, particularly when money has been borrowed from banks, and the tedious plan approval processes pushes them to begin construction without approval from the responsible authorities.
Mr Edmund Mutatiina, a civil engineer, further attributes the surge of collapsed buildings to owners who cannot follow the counsel of the site engineers. In an effort to be frugal, they are willing to ignore professional advise and to take shortcuts. As a result, many people have lost their lives.
He said, “For high-rise buildings, you are supposed to use different sizes of iron bars depending on the foundation and the number of floors. If the site engineer cannot supervise and find out whether workers have used the recommended raw materials, workers may end up compromising on the standards.”
According to Engineer Justus Akakwasa, acting director of Engineering and Technical Services for KCCA, they stopped the construction of new petrol stations in Kampala for the last two years. They wondered where these proprietors got the approvals.
What is Required Before Constructing a Building in the City?
- A copy of the land title, search statement, survey report from a registered surveyor, and payment receipts
- Location and checking encroachment
- Two copies of architectural drawings signed by a registered and practicing architect
- Two copies of structural application certificates signed by a structural engineer signed structural calculations and geotechnical report
- Evaluation plan, traffic impact mitigation plan, environment impact assessment plan and stormwater management plan
Some Other Buildings that have Collapsed Include;
July 16, 2021, a storeyed building at Kabulengwa in Nansana Municipality collapsed, killing its owner.
March 16, 2021, they pulled two bodies out of the debris of the Fido Dido building on Kampala Road.
January 24, 2020, a building collapsed in Kagugube Zone in Kampala Central Division. No deaths or fatalities were registered.
January 9, 2020, six people died on the spot after a building collapsed in Kansanga, Makindye Division.
January 15, 2020, three people died, and several injuries occurred after a two-floor storied building on Plot 17 Gokhale Road caved in.
October 11, 2019, one person died, and several others were injured after a building collapsed in Bakuli, Rubaga Division.
January 26, 2016, two people died, and five others sustained injuries when a building under construction on Luwum Street in the city centre collapsed.
April 2016, a building collapsed along Makerere Hill Road, leaving at least four people dead and scores injured.
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