The concerns were raised during the dissemination and stakeholders workshop organised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in Mbarara on Friday November 19. The leaders were informed that each local government entity is required to have a registered architect, going by Section 28 of the Building Control Act 2013, and the country only has 270.
All 270 Ugandan architects unemployed despite law requiring government to have them
Local leaders in the Western region have expressed concern over the small number of architects in the country, saying it is frustrating the housing sector. Although government entities at all adminstration levels are required to have an architect, the architect board says that the course is recent and difficult which explains the shortage, while officials say there's no funding to recruit the few available.
According to government administration statistics from the Ministry of Local Government, the country is short of 487 architects.
The Mbarara Deputy City Clerk, Richard Mugisha, called this a dilemma for the housing sector.
Poor architect recruitment structure
However, the reveal led Mbarara Resident City Commissioner, Col James Mwesigye, to conclude that developers have their hands tied making them produce shabby work especially in towns.
"I now come to sympathise with developers who use quacks to draw their plans which are partly responsible for collapsing and substandard buildings. We have been in Mbarara and the whole region with no registered architect. The government needs to do something if we are to have an organised housing sector in the region," he said.
More over, government does not have a recruitment structure for local governmets to employ the available registered architects, according to Mwesigye.
Lack of funding for recruitement
More challenges lay in the recruitment structure, acccording to Elly Muhwezi, a Senior Secretary at Bushenyi District.
"Our hands are tied. The law requires us to have architects but there is no funding to recruit these and even we have wage issues. The ARB should be the one to influence government and public service to recruit these architects."
Low capacity course
In response, the board chairperson of ARB, Robert Kigundu, said that architecture is a recent course at learning institutions and a difficult one at that.
“The Architecture course started in 1989 but even then the completion rate is very low because it’s a difficult course. That is partly the reason why there are a few professionals,” he said.
Kampala City Authority is the only government entity with a registered architect.
"In 2018 majority of districts and local government entities did not have architects, only one had a registered architect and that was Kampala City Authority (KCCA) but the law requires every district and local government entity to have an architect," Kigundu noted.
According to the latest information from the Ministry of Local Government website, Uganda has one capital city, 135 districts, 10 cities, 31 municipalities, and 580 town councils.
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