Uganda: Illegal Structures in West Nile Face Demolition

Illegal structures across West Nile Sub-region face demolition because they hinder development, government has said.

The Minister of State for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Obiga Kania, yesterday told Daily Monitor that some of the buildings are constructed on road reserves without approval from urban and sub-county authorities.

Mr Kania added that some owners have turned their land into a way of making money from government or investors as they demand heavy compensation, hence dragging projects.

“We will break those houses that are deliberately constructed on the road reserves even if you have titles for them or not. Compensation is not a certificate for you to build on the road. In some cases, we shall not compensate your building, farms or trees that you have on road reserves,” he said.

Mr Kania said the ministry would enforce the Physical Planning Act 2020 to organise the towns and cities.

Mr Kania said in newly created cities such as Arua, physical planning must be thoroughly done with factories, recreational centres and other social amenities to create easy access and beautification.

He encouraged authorities to mark all the plots and names of buildings in their towns for easy accessibility and visibility.

The amended Physical Planning Act Section 57 (C) states that a person who fails to paint his or her building, place liter bins at his/her building, place a sign with street name on his/her plot as prescribed by the local government or builds in a road reserve as defined in the Road Act 2019 or environmentally sensitive area as defined under National Environment Act 2019 or litters a public place is liable.

Consequently, Section 57 (2) of the Act stipulates that a person convicted of a subsequent offence under this section is liable to a fine not exceeding forty-eight currency point or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both and in case of a continuing offence, to a fine not exceeding 25 currency points for every day or part of a day during which the offence continues.

The ministry of Lands has already planned to start mapping out slum areas in major towns and cities for redesigning and redevelopment.

Arua city authorities recently demolished some houses to pave way for road construction.

“Many of the illegal buildings and other structures on road are owned by individuals yet the road is for the public. As a result of having unplanned buildings, the issue of greening the environment is grossly compromised,” Mr Moses Findru, the city planner, said.

He said they are using the cadastral maps to re-plan the city.

In November last year, the chairperson of National Planning Board, Ms Amanda Ngabirano, called for action against owners of buildings in ungazetted areas.

“We must ensure physical planning and enforcement is done on errant owners of houses whose plans have not been approved by the authorities. People have heavily encroached on road reserves purposely in most towns. People should be moved away from them before the situation goes out of hand,” she said.


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Author : Monitor

Publish date : 2021-07-13 12:41:51

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