Cabinet constitutes national building committee

In the wake of increasing accidents at construction sites, cabinet on Monday endorsed a 15-member building review board with a mandate of ensuring that standard procedures are followed.

The board will work under the Ministry of Works and Transport but shall work closely with local government building committees to ensure standardisation of constructions in the country.

ICT and National Guidance Minister Frank Tumwebaze told journalists during the weekly cabinet press briefing at Uganda Media Centre that the board will have the mandate of monitoring building developments, ensure the design and construction of buildings and utilities to reach the public caters for persons with disabilities, oversee, inspect and monitor the operations of building committees.

Minister Tumwebaze addressing journalists on Tuesday at Media Centre

“It is to prepare and submit to the Minister reports relating to any matter of building developments in the country, hear and determine appeals by persons disatified with decisions of building committees, determine the fees charged by other building committees for approval plans, issue of building permits and to perform any other function confered to it by law,” Tumwebaze said.

The board members are, Emmanuel Male, James Erochu Enou, Grace Mary Mugasa, Milton Fred Ocen and Jonathan Tugume.

Others are, Harriet Mary Kaahwa Kugonza, Eva Katusabe, Margaret Adata, Jackson Amone, Enoch Kibbamu, Apollo Mukasa, Charles Kyamanywa, Tabitha Kakuze, Betty Nakamya and Edward Ssimbwa.

Tumwebaze said, the building committee’s role extends beyond physical planning to cover standardisation.

After physical planning committees have granted constructions to start, the building board will assess the risk the building possess to neighbours and how best it should be put up to foster development.

“I don’t know whether retrospective actions are allowed in the law but nonetheless, the building committee will try to improve the situation going forward,” Tumwebaze said.

The development came a day after five people died at a construction site at Munyonyo-Buziga when an apartment block under construction collapsed on them.
The country has witnessed similar accidents in the past.

For instance, in December 2015, five construction workers died at a construction site in Kansanga, in 2014, a six-storeyed building under construction in Kansaga collapsed on two construction workers severely injuring them.

The police have often attributed such accidents to failure by constructors to abid by the rules and use of substandard materials.