Lira City is still in a transition period and “it is a gradual move” to develop it, according to its planner.
By Ceaser Okello
Lira – Sept. 30, 2022: Lira City Council which became operational in August 2020 following the approval of Parliament is yet to set regulations for people wanting to build commercial and uptown houses in the City center.
The city currently has several dilapidated buildings that do not meet the standard as required by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
Most of the buildings located along major streets of Lira City were built way back in colonial times. Many of them are battling with poor drainage and sewage management, among other challenges.
On Obote Avenue, there are less than 10 high buildings compared to other cities which were elevated at the same period.
Asked whether the City Council has a plan to come out with Laws regulating the buildings, Patrick Okwir, the Council Speaker said no plans are there yet.
Okwir said most of the Land housing dilapidated structures were given lease offers for 49 years.
According to him, this makes it difficult to force the owners to demolish the buildings at the moment.
According to the speaker, as a Council their hands are tight since most of the owners were given plans a long time ago to erect those structures at that time.
Francis Ogema Awany, the Chairperson of Lira City Landlord Association said the buildings in Lira City are very okay.
Ogema states that the buildings still meet the standard because they built it a long time when Lira City was still a Town Council and more, so they were given lease offers for 49 years.
He says Lira City is still a child that may take time to be like other cities, citing Kampala.
Leonard Otika is the acting City Physical Planner who said Lira City is still in a transition period. To him, it means “it is a gradual move”.
Otika told TND News that the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has a binding law that regulates buildings in the urban setting.
According to him, what the City Council is doing now is to regulate new buildings to meet the current standards.
In the Central Business Center, like Main Street and other streets, people intending to build must be ready to construct storied buildings of 4 to five floors, Leonard Otika stated.
He also said apparently, the government through the Physical Planning Department is working on the guiding principles for the Cities and where specific buildings are supposed to be.
Lira City has plenty of billionaires [businessmen and women] but a few of them have built storied houses.