The National Environment Management Authority-NEMA and Bugembe town council in Jinja are at the verge of demolishing 200 illegal structures. The affected buildings include those built without approval by town council and those found in wetlands and road reserves. The most affected buildings are found in Budhumbuli, Nakanyonyi, Igenge hill and in Maternity ward.
The decision to demolish the buildings in June this year follows a report showing that the structures are a threat to their occupants. Recently, the ministry of Lands, Housing and urban planning approved a new plan for Bugembe town council excluding the affected buildings. Charles Mugweri, Bugembe Town Council Engineer says that an assessment carried out by a team of engineers, environmentalists and health experts in 2012 shows that 70 percent of the buildings in the town council are not fit for human occupation.
He explains that during the assessment, the team looked at the structure, environment, location, wiring and physical aspect of each building. The proposed demolition of buildings has sent several residents of Bugembe town council into panic. Some of the residents interviewed by Redpepper Online, claim that their building plans were approved by the town council.
But Steven Wante, the LC3 Chairperson of Bugembe Town Council wants residents to be given a grace period to submit their plans for approval.
Elisa Semujju, the chairperson Bugembe town council land lords Association wonders why the town council has not sensitized proprietors of the affected buildings over the last two years. He says it is unfair for Bugembe town council to continue levying property tax from condemned buildings.