An 11-member Building Committee was last Thursday inaugurated to over see all building developments in Wakiso district. The committee is chaired by Mulindwa Vincent who also doubles as Chairperson Works and Technical services committee of the district. Other members include Edith Nakatudde,the District Physical Planner, Stephen Kajumba Ssendi, who represents Architects while Deborah Mazzi represents Persons with Disabilities. Abudulla Azizi is the new Building Control Officer while Faseh Kakembo is his assistant.
The inauguration was presided over by a team from the National Building Review Board (NBRB), a body that oversees, inspects and monitors the operations of the building committees according the Building Control Act 2023.Hudson Mutalya, the Senior Standards Officer at NBRB, took the new committee through the building industry legal frame work and procedures and emphasized strict adherence.
“We must avoid delays in approval of building plans, much as the law says you must meet at least once every two months, you can sit as many times as long as there is business to consider”. Mutalya advised.
The inauguration comes after training of committee members and on bounding of the district on the Building Industry Management System (BIMS) an online platform digitizing all the building control processes.
According to Section 28(1) of the Building Control Act, 2013 at each District and Urban Authority there must be a Building Committee. Under Section 29(1) the Building Committees are responsible for scrutinising and approving building plans, issuing building and occupation permits, ensuring that the design and construction of buildings and utilities to which the public is to have access cater for person with disabilities.
Other functions include, reviewing decisions on applications for permits for minor building works submitted to a building control officer, ensuring that the Act is complied with and performing any other functions assigned to it by the Board
Citing the District Headquarters designed without ramps, Deborah Mazzi who represents Persons with Disabilities on the committee emphasized the need to prioritize accessibility during the building permit approval processes.
“Through our efforts, we ensured that ramps are constructed towards the office of the District Chairperson and the Council Chambers, however we need another connecting to the health building” Mazzi asked.
Despite the inauguration of the building committee, Edith Nakatudde, the District Physical Planner challenged NBRB to find solutions to other causes of building accidents especially the quality of the building materials.
“Even if we streamline the processes of the building committee and the Building Control Officers, without addressing other causes of building accidents, out efforts will be meaningless”. Nakatudde noted.
With its proximity to the Kampala City, Wakiso has attracted high population. The 2014 National Housing and Population Census put the total population of Wakiso district at 1,997,418 people and a population density of 1,060 people per square kilometer. These numbers are likely to have doubled 10 years later.
This population growth has resulted into housing challenges, which has made some developers to engaged into illegal construction practices in order to meet the demand. This has led to the rampant building accidents in the district that have resulted into loss of lives and destruction of property.
In April 2023 a man identified as Joseph Kabaaya was electrocuted at a construction site in Namuseera, Wakiso sub county as he tried to pass on an iron bar to another builder. A year before another accident occurred in Katale Bukwenda, Kyengera Town Council when a building collapsed, killing one person and injuring two others.
Herbert Zziwa, the Manager Communications, represented NBRB’s Executive Secretary Eng. Flavia Gutto Bwire at the event. The inauguration of the Wakiso Building Committee comes days after reconstitution of the Entebbe Municipality Building Committee.