KCCA revises construction rules

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By SHABIBAH NAKIRIGYA

Kampala. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has revised regulations governing construction of buildings in the city.
Under the new arrangement, for any developer to obtain a building plan and a job card, they must prove that they have a qualified contractor and the site is supervised by competent building professionals at all stages of the construction.

A job card is used in construction projects to detail to the workforce the jobs that have to be completed during the construction.
The intervention is aimed at addressing accidents that occur at various building sites in the city.
Under the new arrangement, a developer is also required to erect a sign board at a convenient and prominent position, preferably adjacent to the site, detailing the name of client, contractor, supervising professionals and any other information deemed necessary for the execution of construction works.

According to Mr Moses Atwine Kanuniira, the director physical planning in KCCA, presently, city building inspectors only focus on technical issues such as electrical design, site installations, perimeter walling and water reservoirs, and ignore other procedural imperatives .
“When building inspectors visit a site, all they ask for is the approved plan and they go. That is not enough. Building sites must be monitored all through the numerous processes of construction to ensure that the contractor is adhering to the approved dimensions,” he said during an interview on Wednesday.
“Each of the processes must, at the relevant time, be ticked off on the job card issued at the point of approving the plan to guarantee quality and avoid accidents,” he added.

Job card
The revised job card, which has three pages, will allow close monitoring and liability on the part of the supervisors, professionals, contractors, developers as well as the division building inspectors.
“The issuance of the job cards is convenient and free of charge. They will only be issued upon obtaining development permission and signed contractual agreement with the supervising architects, contractors and engineers on site,” Mr Kanuniira said.
He added that the new job card indicates dates, remarks and stipulate the terms and conditions to abide by during the course of construction. This arises as a result of the negligence arising from the construction industry professionals.

Directives
“In addition to the information displayed on the construction sign board and site instruction books, the new job card, which we started issuing on July 2, incorporates details, including the contractor, developers and history of inspection dates,” Mr Kanuniira said.
He said under the new arrangement, a developer is required to keep a copy of the approved architectural and structural drawings and records of inspection on site, including dates of inspection, signature, observation, comments and instructions issued by the technical team.
“As KCCA, we anticipate that the new job card will, among others, allow for improvement professional responsibility during the course of construction, improved monitoring of sites, protection of workers at sites and increased liability on the contractors handling the construction work,” he said.

In the past two decades, there have been incidences of buildings caving in in different parts of the city. Lives have been lost in some of these accidents, which are majorly blamed on poor workmanship and absence of quality control measures.
The latest accident occurred in Mawanga Zone in Buziga in May where a building that was under construction caved in.
Mr Kanuniira warned developers and contractors against violating the new rules.
Mr Moses Kinobe, a private architect, said on top of revising the job card, KCCA should build enough capacity to supervise all building sites in and around Kampala.
“We have been having incidents where buildings collapse at a stage when they are almost completed, meaning that KCCA does not have enough capacity to supervise those buildings in time to identify problems,” Mr Kinobe said.

About the law
According to public health (building) rules, any approved building plan is considered null and void if erection of the structure does not commence in 18 months from the date of approval or completed within two years and six months.
After elapse of the approval, Mr Kununiira said a developer is required to halt construction and submit a fresh request for approval.
In the past two decades, the city has witnessed a construction boom which has seen more high rising buildings sprung up within and outside the city centres. KCCA has embarked on a massive crackdown on all city buildings which don’t meet both health and physical planning standards.

Voices
“We have been having incidents where buildings collapse at a stage when they are almost completed, meaning that KCCA does not have enough capacity to supervise those buildings in time to identify problems,” Moses Kinobe, architect,

“As KCCA, we anticipate that the new job card will, among others, allow for improvement professional responsibility during the course of construction, improved monitoring of sites, protection of workers at sites and increased liability on the contractors handling the construction work,” Moses Atwine Kanuniira, director physical planning in KCCA

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