CEDAT, NBRB Skill Informal Construction Players to Reduce Accidents

Photo courtesy of collapsed building in Kisenyi

Makerere University College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology-CEDAT, and the National Building Review Board-NBRB, have skilled the informal players in the construction sector with basic building skills to reduce the extensive construction site accidents.

The country has experienced a series of construction site accidents, where several people have lost their lives. NBRB has often been attributed to hiring unprofessional laborers commonly known as Fundi’s, and substandard building materials, as the major causes of accidents on site. 

Construction is among the most highly informal sectors in Uganda irrespective of the rapid growth, developers prefer non-professional labour because it is cheap and readily available.

Flavia Gutto Bwire, the NBRB executive secretary while officiating at the second masons’ sensitization workshop at Makerere, said that it is important to equip builders with the basic construction skills to save them as individuals and the society for whom they construct these buildings.

Gutto said there are plans to scale up the training to other parts of the country since this year’s training had up to 200 participants from Kampala district, but

 “Our aim is to ensure that masons can be able to differentiate a fake building material from a genuine one, understand an approved architectural plan, and also have the ability to resist the developer’s instructions which always mislead them, but rather follow professional guidelines,” Gutto said.

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Amir Kiggundu Tamale, the head of department of art and physical planning at CEDAT, the construction industry, doesn’t have enough professionals to fill the market and that’s where builders come in to fill the gap.

A series of buildings that collapse have always been attributed to skill gaps because they are not competent enough. He adds that competent people don’t have the numbers to satisfy the market demand, hence the need to help builders become more knowledgeable, according to Kiggundu.

 “Our country is faced with a fanny education system, where there are people who graduate in community universities, like on sites, and then those who go through the formal education system. This will bridge the gap between the University and the community because builders are closer to the community to serve as our change agents.”  Kiggundu explained.

Ssendikadiwa Expedito, a Fundi with over 20 years of experience, who took part in the training, says that the training has made him understand some things and how they can be done properly, especially interpreting the plan which knowledge he did not have before.

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