Jinja: A devastating downpour on Thursday led to the collapse of a section of the Nizam road west-based building, resulting in the tragic loss of one life and causing severe injuries to two individuals. The deceased has been identified as Crispus Matamba, an employee of Empowering Island Consultants, a local private audit firm in Jinja. Matamba, a resident of Namwisindwa district, tragically lost his life when shards of concrete from the building’s third floor struck him on the head. James Okurutu and Brian Wataka were the two other unfortunate victims who sustained significant injuries.
Police have officially confirmed the incident, attributing the tragedy to the combination of heavy rainfall and strong winds that pounded the area, leaving residents in a state of shock and apprehension.
Kiira Region Police spokesperson SP James Mubi emphasized that the injured victims are showing signs of improvement as ongoing investigations aim to unravel the circumstances surrounding the building collapse. Mubi strongly cautioned engineers against the use of substandard construction materials, which he identified as a leading cause of building collapses with dire consequences for human lives.
Mubi further informed that the scene of the incident has been cordoned off by the police until a joint assessment is conducted by technical experts from the Uganda National Building Review Board (UNBRB) and Jinja city authorities. Their assessment will facilitate the formulation of an official report that will determine the extent of damage and outline necessary measures for the building’s recovery. This evaluation will also pave the way for businesses to safely resume operations within the building’s basement area.
The ill-fated building, which remains incomplete, accommodates numerous businesses in its basement and lower floors. According to available reports, the building’s owner passed away several years ago while the construction was still underway.
Jinja’s recent memory includes a similar incident involving the collapse of Speke Courts Hotel, which was also under construction along Bell Avenue. Fortunately, that incident did not result in any loss of life or injuries. Such events are often attributed to lax oversight on construction materials, enabling the use of substandard elements due to negligence or embezzlement.
As authorities work to uncover the root causes of the Nizam road building collapse, the tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the paramount importance of adhering to construction standards and employing the utmost diligence in ensuring the safety of structures and the lives they shelter.