50% of Houses in Gulu Unfit for Habitation

2418 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The outgoing LC5 chairman of Gulu, Norbert Mao, calls for tough action to be taken against owners of condemned buildings in his municipality.

More than 55 percent of houses in Gulu municipality are unfit for habitation.
The outgoing LC5 chairperson for Gulu, Norbert Mao, says that in order to deal with this problem the district land board should not renew land leases to people who own the condemned houses. He says people with property in dangerous condition should not be allowed to continue occupying them unless they are immediately repaired.
In 2006 St. Luke Guesthouse along the Lacor-Juba highway collapsed, killing two children. The guesthouse that was built in the 1960s had been condemned three years earlier, but was never demolished.
Mao says the current municipal council should inspect the status of all highly dilapidated houses before their term of office expires in May. He says the matter should be treated with urgency to prevent further deaths.
Mao calls on people living in the condemned houses to look for alternative accommodation before they turn into fatalities.
This advice has been welcomed, but is considered quite impractical by some Gulu residents. Housing rental fees in Gulu town are among the highest of any municipality outside Kampala. Prices were driven up by the large international humanitarian community living in the area during the northern Uganda insurgency.
Alex Otim, the Gulu district secretary for works and technical services, says that recently 1,000 houses were inspected. More than half of them were in such a poor state that they have been condemned.
Otim says the owners of the buildings have intentionally ignored directives to either rehabilitate or demolish them.