State Minister of Works and Transport Musa Ecweru has called on bodies regulating the building sector to double their efforts in the fight against inferior building methods and materials on the market.

Speaking at the high level structured dialogue on counterfeits in the building sector, Ecweru warned that if the regulator sleep on job, lives will continue being lost in building accidents.

“The products that some manufacturers are producing are inferior and not fit for market, but where is UNBS, Engineers and supervisors in controlling this”. Ecweru wondered.

The Minister pledged support to the stakeholders if there is need to amend the existing legal framework to further empower the Regulatory Bodies in doing their job.

Investigations carried out by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) on the causes of building accidents have strongly pointed to the use of inferior and poor quality building materials.

The Executive Secretary of the National Building Review Board Eng. Flavia Bwire noted that culpability is often with the professionals for failing to enforce the quality controls, the manufacturers for not adhering to UNBS standards and developers who use counterfeits under the “guise of saving”

“Clearly, the industry has a number of players whose role is collectively important to the realization of our mission of having a well planned, safe and decent buildings that are constructed in harmony with the environment”. Eng. Bwire added.

The Chairperson of the Board, Emmanuel Male singled out steel reinforcements, cement, paint and electrical cables as some of the most counterfeited building materials.

Section 42 of the Building Control Act, 2013 empowers the Minister of Works and Transport after consultation with the Board (NBRB) and upon being satisfied that any method or material used in a building operation is not safety, by notice published in the Gazette to prohibit the use of any of such material in the building operation.

The high level structured dialogue was organized by NBRB and Anti- counterfeit Network Africa (CAN Africa) at Protea Hotel Kampala. The Deputy Executive Director KCCA attended the dialogue, officials from the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Association of Real Estates Agents and other stakeholders.

About NBRB

National Building Review Board (NBRB), is a corporate body under the Ministry of Works and Transport established by the Building Control Act, 2013. The Board was inaugurated on October 2, 2018.

NBRB is mandated under section 9 of the Act to monitor building developments, ensure design and construction of buildings are accessible by persons with disabilities, oversee and inspect operations of the buildings committees, prepare and submit reports to the minister on matter relating to the sector.

The Board also hears and determines appeals from persons dissatisfied with the decisions of a building committee and determines fees to be charged by urban and district building committees for approval of plans, issue of building permits and occupation permits.