KAMPALA – Lands, housing and urban development minister Judith Nabakooba has asked the surveyors through their umbrella organization, Institution of Surveyors of Uganda (ISU) and the Surveyors Registration Board (SRB) to continue promoting and advancing professionalism in the sector.
Nabakooba who was officiating over the Pre-AGM 2022 conference launch of the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda (ISU) said ensuring adherence to ethics by addressing salient issues, such as the unethical conduct of surveyors will go a long way in reforming the sector.
“Cases of negligence and fraud are still rampant and are costly to the economy, they must be curbed. Surveyors play an important role, especially regarding Land, which is the most important factor of production. As experts in land and built-environment related matters, surveyors are very important in sustainable urban development of our country,” she said.
The minister said the theme of the forthcoming Pre-AGM Conference dubbed ‘Sustainable Urban Development: The Role Of Land And Built Professionals’ is a reflection of prevailing challenges in sustainable urbanization, which surveyors and other professionals have to consider in their new-normal of work.
She reiterated the government’s commitment to work with surveyors since land issues start with surveyors and if these are not streamlined at the surveying stage, they are hard to fix when they get to the ministry.
“Desk surveying without reaching the site is also deadly. We believe that with the constant engagement with the surveyors through their umbrella bodies, to train their members and teaching them the danger in doing shoddy work, things will be good. This will in turn add value and respect to their profession for them to gain the confidence of the public.”
Dr Nathan Kibwani, the President of the Institute of Surveyors of Uganda acknowledged that there is a challenge of masqueraders amongst their surveyors who do a number of things that spoil the reputation of the profession.
He explained that their biggest job apparently is to clean up the profession to make it free of such kinds of people and change its image as most people think surveyors are land grabbers.
“Just as the minister has said we are going to work upon the ethics in the profession to see that we train our people to behave well to redefine our image. We are going to ensure that the institution represents surveyors in a good way.”
Nabakooba shared that there is a Valuation Bill being crafted to further streamline the Valuation profession and she is optimistic that the same kind of growth will expand to other Surveying professions, such as Quantity Surveyors and Land Surveyors.
“The valuation surveyors use the general survey law yet they are many. As a government, we want a bill that connects directly with valuation to see that principals, standards and numbers all reconcile. The law is still in the hands of technical people. These bills should come out soon because it speaks directly to the current situation in the country,” she said.
Surveyors are in three kinds, land surveyors, valuation surveyors and quantity surveyors. They have one law of 1974 that cannot legislate well on the way things have to be done since a lot of things have changed over time.
Kibwami shares that they have been working with the ministry to see that all these surveyors in the three categories have independent laws to govern their operations.
“We welcome the idea because if we get a law for each category, it will help us streamline the business and we thank the minister for her commitment to expedite the process of these laws.”
The ISU is a professional association that brings together Land Surveying, Valuation Surveying, Quantity Surveying, Mining and Hydrogeological Surveying professionals in Uganda.
It currently has over 1600 members (25% Women) who range from Technicians, Graduates, Professional Associates and Registered Surveyors.