At least 123 buildings that were condemned by Jinja municipality for demolition in 2006 still stand tall and are occupied by residents. The buildings have rusty, cracked and dump walls due to water leakage through the ceiling or roof.
Many are covered by fungi and algae. Despite being condemned for demolition, some of the buildings are still in use. One of the condemned buildings is Jinja district headquarters, which hosts the Chief Administrative Officer, Resident District Commissioner and the LC V Chairman.
The building was condemned in 1998 but to date nothing has been done.
Meddy Mbentyo, the Central Division councilor, attributes the existence of the condemned buildings on lack of political will from the local leaders.
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Said Mohammed, the Jinja Municipal Council Engineer, says the condemned buildings are a ticking bomb. He says the buildings could collapse anytime and lead to disaster.
Mohammed Baswari Kezaala, the outgoing Mayor Jinja Municipality, says the demolition of the condemned buildings was grossly affected by lack of clear ownership of the affected structures.
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He however, advises that those who own more than one old building should be allowed to rehabilitate them to give the municipality a face lift. Deborah Kazoora, a tenant at one of the condemned buildings along Lubas road, says the toilets flood whenever it rains because the drainage is blocked.
According to Kazoora, the toilet emits a foul smell and discharge contaminated water into her house. Shafik Al Hassan, who owns 11 condemned buildings along Spire, Lubas and Oboja roads, says he halted the renovation of the building the pending the conclusion of court cases due to ownership wrangles.
Felix Mugizi, the Officer in Charge of Jinja Central Police Station, says fire has gutted at least 31 buildings in the past and destroyed property worth millions due to short circuits in the cracked walls of the condemned buildings.