By David Lumu
The Government has raised a red flag on Lotis Tower building in Nakasero, Kampala, noting that the concrete column on the sixth floor has developed cracks.
According to officials from the National Building Review Board (NBRB), a corporate government body established by the Building Control Act, 2013, another column failure has also been observed at the basement area of the building.
“Our attention has been drawn to the compression failure of a reinforced concrete column on the sixth floor of Lotis Towers on Mackinnon Road, Kampala. It is important to note that while the management of the building presented an occupation permit (a document issued clearing a building for fitness of use), several columns with similar signs of failure were observed in the basement,” officials noted in their statement.
“NBRB has recommended the evacuation of the building for safety while a comprehensive structural integrity assessment of the entire building is conducted to inform the next actions to be taken. A team of engineers visited the site to conduct a preliminary assessment of the defects on the structure and their effect on the safety of the occupants and the neighbourhood,” officials added in their statement.
In their response to queries raised, Lotis Tower proprietors said the building defects were identified, and the contractor Roko construction Co. Ltd, was asked to rectify them.
However, NBRB insists that the contractor must submit the repair methodology plan to cure the defects to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
“While the project consultants and contractor, Roko construction Co. Ltd, studied the defects, and are attempting to rectify the anomaly, NBRB has instructed that the proposed remedial work methodology is submitted to KCCA Building Committee for review and approval,” NBRB officials said.
The 14-level office block is located on Mackinnon Road in Nakasero, Kampala.
The building control law states that where an owner of a building deviates from an approved plan, drawing or diagram to a substantial degree in terms of plot coverage, height, depth, dimensions and structural system or becomes non-complaint with the regulations, the Building Committee may revoke the building permit for the building operations and require the owner of the building to demolish and remove the building within a specified time at his or her own cost.