KAMPALA – Works and Transport Minister Gen. Katumba Wamala has pledged the government’s commitment to surveyors through their umbrella organisation Institute of Surveyors in Uganda (ISU) to help streamline their operations.
Gen. Katumba who was officiating at ISU’s 6th Pre-AGM conference at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala that was held under a theme dubbed ‘Sustainable Urban development: The Role of Land and built Environment’ said the government is aware of the need to review the legal framework regulating surveyors.
He noted that surveyors play an important role especially regarding land which is the most important factor of production and underscored their role in the development of the country.
“Government continues to recognise and appreciate the role of surveyors. For example, in 2019, the section of valuation in MLHUD was upgraded to a full department of valuation with the objective of streamlining the valuation services offered in the country, all of which will contribute to the growth of the profession,” he said.
He added that they have had challenges regarding bad practices from some of the ISU Members and cautioned the body and the Surveyors Registration Board (SRB) to continue promoting and advancing professionalism to ensure adherence to ethics by addressing salient issues such as the unethical conduct of surveyors.
“As you discuss Sustainable Urban Development facing the surveying profession, put a lot of emphasis on professional ethics and standards plus resilience of your profession. My Ministry is committed to support the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda and the Surveyors Registration Board in the promotion of professional competence and regulatory guidance in the surveying sector,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Nathan Kibwami, the president of ISU appealed to the government to increase protection of surveyors while on duty since most of them are targeted by attackers. He argued that the role of surveying professionals is very paramount in the economic development of the country and therefore ought to be supported.
Dr Kibwami told the minister that the body currently has membership of over 1600 people 25% of whom are women.
“Our regulatory head is the Surveyors Registration Board mandated by the Surveyors Registration Act (1974). Unfortunately, we do not have a running board now since the term for the one we had expired,” he said, calling upon the minister to expedite the process of appointing a new board in collaboration with the Lands Ministry, which is their regulator.
He added that as the world grapples with how to achieve sustainable development goals, Uganda in the National Development Plan 3 emphasises programs of Sustainable urbanisation and that as professionals it is always of great importance to gather and chat about such agendas through platforms like the Pre-AGM.
The two-day event was attended by regional heads of surveyors’ institutions from Kenya, Rwanda and the first African Vice President of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) Mr Kwame Tenadu who gave the keynote address.