The architects of the new Uganda Revenue Authority headquarters in Nakawa were warned of defects in design of the multibillion tower at the beginning of the year.
On Monday, heavy rains with strong winds hit the tax body’s Shs139billion headquarters, affecting operations on the second of the 23-floor ‘work of art’.
In a video captured by a staff member, employees are seen running away from their desks taking refuge in another corner, with a few running to save the computers.
URA said in a statement several hours later denied that there was any kind of flooding but that the tower “is a green building, designed to use a natural ventilation system where fresh air comes through the louvers, and hot air rises through the atrium and finally exits through the louvers at the rooftop. Today we experienced exceptionally heavy rains with strong winds which pushed rain water through the roof top louvers that dropped to floor two where the atrium starts.”
Now information received by this website indicates that J.E Nsubuga & Associates Ltd, the tower’s architects were requested to address the issue in a January 22, 2019 letter by the commissioner of Corporate Services, Herbert Musoke three days after it was officially commissioned by President Museveni.
Titled ‘Supervision of the Uganda Revenue Authority Headquarter Building – design defect at the 12m gap and atrium’, Musoke says “…. On January 4, 19 and 20 2019, we received rainfall and on each of the above days, significant amounts of water entered the building through the Atrium on floor two and upper ground level. This presents a risk of water getting into the floor boxes, causing short circuits and possibly damaging equipment in the data centre. Further note that the design of the reception area at 12m gap requires review due to water seeping through different corners of the roof structure.”
Musoke also queried and rejected the bifold door installed by the public entrance area because it lacked splendor and impressiveness.
“The purpose of this letter therefore is to request that you address the issues highlighted above before close of business on Friday, January 25, 2019,” the letter to Jonathan E. Nsubuga reads.
We are yet to establish how much damage was caused by the rains.