More than 4,000 buildings in Kampala were constructed without official approved structural plans, which could partly explain the increasing cases of collapsing buildings.
The revelation was made by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) deputy Executive Director, Mr David Luyimbazi, yesterday, in an interview.
“We find ourselves late on inspecting the buildings and this has resulted in more buildings collapsing,” he said.
He added that the majority of the unauthorised buildings are located in Nakawa and Kawempe divisions.
Mr Luyimbazi, an engineer, said KCCA shoulders part of the blame given what he termed as lack of consistent supervision by the concerned officials. He blamed KCCA’s failure to enforce building laws on a shortage of resources.
Mr Luyimbazi made the revelations after conducting a meeting with victims of a recent collapsed building in Kisenyi, Kampala, that was owned by Mr Muhammed Katimbo. The ill-fated building caved in and buried three workers, who were carrying out excavation.
One person died and two others were admitted to hospital in critical condition.
He explained that the building at Kisenyi had a deep excavation and it was unsafe, adding that when it rained, the soil was weakened, prompting the vertical wall to collapse.
“The purpose of the meeting was to make sure that those people who were affected are relocated to a safer place such that they can continue operating their businesses,’’ Mr Luyimbazi said.
The KCCA official also said the authority has set up a team, an illegal structures committee, composed of lawyers, police officers and other investigators to ensure buildings are constructed according to approved plans.
Ms Dorothy Kissaka, the executive director of KCCA, promised a crackdown on all illegal structures in the city and warned that building in wetlands is prohibited by a presidential directive and cannot be condoned by KCCA.
“KCCA will not issue permissions to build in wetlands and any such action is illegal. Our Physical Planning Committee and our Building Committee are very strict on this issue,” she said.
Lord Mayor speaks out
The Kampala Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago, said some KCCA officials collude with unscrupulous people to construct buildings that are not approved.
“The problem is very systemic, it goes down to the directors, supervisors and managers,” he said.
Mr Lukwago said the problem became rampant during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“People who were having lots of money colluded with some of our officials and issued very many building plans,” he said.
He added: “As a council, we sat and agreed that there should be the evaluation of all structures that were constructed during that period from 2020 to date.”
KCCA established a building committee under the Directorate of Engineering and Technical Services in accordance with Section 28 of the Building Control Act 2013 and the Building Control Regulations 2020.
The committee promotes and ensures planned decent and safe building structures that are built in harmony with the environment for better living standards in the capital city.