The UIPE vice president, Dr. Eng. Mark Henry Rubarenzya said the majority of the engineers graduate and start their independent firms without being certified by the relevant bodies.

The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE), the umbrella body of professional engineers, has revealed that over 8,000 engineers in different fields are not registered.

The body argues that this exposes the public to more risks as a result of substandard works.

The UIPE vice president, Dr. Eng. Mark Henry Rubarenzya said the majority of the engineers graduate and start their independent firms without being certified by the relevant bodies.

He said the most notorious groups are electricians/ technicians and technologists.

“There are over 8000 engineers in different fields of engineering who are not registered.

These are the people who end up doing errors leading to collapse and burning of buildings; just because they were never trained as the system requires. They are not even updated on the new trends,” he noted.

He said only about 1400 engineers are registered with UIPE including engineers, technicians, and technologists (from diploma and above).

Early this month a concrete wall at Lohana International School collapsed leading to the death of four street children. Last week, another Primary Two pupil at Pic Hill Primary was allegedly electrocuted to death by naked wire at the school.

Rubarenzya also noted the problem of quacks who are not trained but do the same work and identified as engineers in local communities.

“They should not be practicing or should be working under somebody no matter how good they are at bricklaying. They always need professional guidance,” he added.

He urged all engineers to join professional bodies to share the best practices, get dated on the changing trends within their specific fields through various training and promote professionalism.

Rubarenzya was speaking to the young student engineers from various universities during a distinguished lecture at the Resilient Africa Network (RAN) in Kololo yesterday. The lecture also highlighted the need to enforce lightning safety and protection measures in the country.

It was organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Uganda section.

“Ethics, integrity, sustainability, and professionalism are the things which are going to help our profession and nation to grow,” Rubarenzya noted.

He said government needs to enforce the existing regulations of the Engineers Registration Act, to ensure all engineers are part of the various bodies to comply with the regulations and requirements of the bodies.

“Paramount of which is promoting ethical practice and professional development,” he said.

Rubarenzya explained that after graduation, engineers are supposed to work under other people for four years, to approve their competence to get registered and work independently.

The IEEE Uganda section chairperson; Vincent Olema urged Ugandan engineers in the ICT professional to join the global body and explore their opportunities.

He said IEEE focuses on identify challenges in communities and comes up with solutions which can be implemented.

The IEEE Uganda section started in 2013 and has 200 members with partners including UIPE, RAN and the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).

The former IEEE Uganda section chairperson, Hebert Lwanga said through support from IEEE in the USA they managed to install lightning arrestors in Kiswa and Kyambo Primary Schools.

“We want the young engineers to translate the knowledge they have into solutions to community problems. The grants are available. They only need to subscribe to IEEE and submit their proposals,” he added.

A lightening expert, Ian Mckehnie said there is a need for a strong policy to ensure that all public facilities like education and hospitals have lightning conductors to avoid strikes.

He advised that there is always need to have an integrated, systematic and holistic engineering approach to assess, design, implement and maintain effective lightning safety and lightning protection solutions,” he said



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