31 October 2012

Uganda: Bungalows to Be Outlawed in Kampala City

Photo: New Vision
Bungalows to be outlawed in Kampala to promote high density 10 storey buildings

The Government is coming up with physical planning regulations that will forbid construction of bungalows within the vicinity of Kampala's Central Business District and promote only high-density buildings of ten storeys and above.

The minister of lands, housing and urban development Daudi Migereko said on Tuesday that this is intended to provide sufficient housing for the ever-rising population in Kampala city.

"The plans we are coming up with require that we build going up in the sky because the population is going up and services must be provided. Construction should be of high rise structures to optimally utilize land," Migereko said.

"Individuals who want to have one-acre pieces of land and build bungalows, and maintain their secrecy behind wall fences will move 30 to 50 miles from the capital city," Migereko said.

The minister however did not explain what will happen to the existing bungalows in Kampala. He was on Tuesday speaking during the breakfast meeting at Imperial Royale Hotel on the need for changing cities and providing adequate housing. The meeting was organized by the Shelters and Settlements Alternatives, Uganda Human Settlements Network and the Uganda Cooperative Alliance.

Present were Members of Parliament on the physical planning committee, officials from banking institutions, lands ministry and representatives of tenants within Kampala.

Migereko said that with the increasing population, there is need to emphasize the respect of laws relating to physical planning in the country and strictness in following of the urban physical plans.

He also cautioned people who set up unplanned structures in the country, that they risk losing their investments, and asked officials not to approve plans for structures that do not conform to the laid out physical plans for areas.

According to Migereko, Uganda currently has a shortage of houses of up to 1.6 million units, which challenge also presents an investment opportunity in the construction and real estate industries.

He said the housing sector in Uganda faces challenges such as unreasonably priced land and houses in urban areas, fraudulent land titles, costly building materials, as well as limited information on the construction industry.

He said that government is revising the law on construction codes, which sets the specifications of building materials to be used in the country. Migereko said that with advance in construction technology, there are affordable innovations such as prefabricated materials, steel and glass, which is moving away from the conventional use of blocks and bricks as building materials. Ends...

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