Uganda survey finds 78% of buildings do not comply with building codes

A construction site in Kampala (Dreamstime)
A survey of buildings in 11 Ugandan cities has found that a little over a fifth comply with the country’s Building Control Act.

The two-month-long investigation was carried out by Uganda’s National Building Review Board (NBRB) and covered 3,333 works in progress and 2,606 completed buildings. It looked at the projects’ approved building plans, permission to begin work, occupation permits, professional engagement and drainage system, among others criteria.

The report said: “The overall compliance level of the active construction sites was at 20%, acquisition of building permit at 6%, supervision of the building process by professionals at 6%.”

At a press conference held to release the report, Flavia Bwire, the NBRB’s executive secretary, said the survey was carried out to publicise the need to meet construction standards.

She added that the NBRB would carry out a study to establish the time it might take developers to comply with the standards, during which there would be an amnesty.

Timothy Mubbala, the NBRB’s manager of compliance, said in a television interview that the report has also revealed the absence of maintenance plans for completed buildings. He said: “Of the completed buildings we visited, none had a maintenance schedule.”

He added that for the building sites inspected, the main issue was the absence of professional such as structural engineers. Only 6% of sites examined were being supervised by professionally qualified staff.

The issue has been made particularly relevant by the deaths of three site workers after a four-storey building collapsed in Kampala last month. This followed another disaster in the same city in January, when six were killed.

Image: A construction site in Kampala (Dreamstime)

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