Building experts have chosen Makerere University’ Block B of the  College of Computing  and Information Science (CoCIS) among  the easily accessible and fire – safe Education Institutions Buildings in Uganda.

The building was named during  the inaugural  National  Building Control Award (NBCA) 2023  at  ceremony held on 8th December 2023 at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

Makerere’s Block B at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)

The ceremony was graced by among others the Gender Minister in charge of People living with Disabilities(PWDs) and the Executive Secretary National Building Review Board, Eng. Flavia Bwire.

CoCIS Block B Makerere University, Senate  building of  Soroti University  and  Machine Workshop  Kichwamba  UTC made it to the final list  of Awardees under the category of the   Public Educational Institutions Buildings.

 During the  verification exercise , the panel of experts considered  accessibility to public buildings as  the ability of an individual especially  PWDs to independently  reach, use, manoeuvre within the building or facility with limited or no hinderance on an equal basis with others. In terms of external accessibility, the panel looked at  access routes from the main  gate of the building especially by wheel chair- users, demarcation of the PWD parking lot generally  and access ramp to the building.

In terms of internal accessibility, focus was on the width  of  internal doors, colour of the door, frame paint, door handles, labelling of toilet doors, double leaf doors and glass doors. For washrooms, the panel considered PWD reserved  lavatories, width of PWD toilets, grab rails,  toilet seat facility, wash hand basin and urinal bowls. Other areas of interest  included internal circulation, ramps, stairways for storey buildings  and  lifts among others.

Front view of Makerere’s Block B  at  CoCIS

For fire safety in public buildings, the panel looked out for functional smoke detectors, services fire extinguishers installed and water  sprinkles for buildings with basement levels, emergency fire escapes, fire exit doors, emergency lighting guide, fire assembly  points, fire hydrants and emergence contact numbers.

The panel also  looked at the composition of the building committee, appointment of the members of the  committee, minutes of meetings of the committee, plan approval register and the use of the Building Industry Management System (BIMS) and any other documents.

Entrance to Block B

The Principal College of Computing and Information Sciences Professor Tonny J Oyana said, the university is blessed to have a building that can accommodate a student population of up to four thousand at a single sitting.

“The second is that there are three stairways that enable access to that building. We have made it a point to assign the first three floors for PWDs.  If they have severe disability, we re-assign the first floor only. So we are very intentional and mindful of PWDs”, Prof Oyana said.

Prof. Tonny Oyana, Principal, CoCIS

In terms of its lighting and other factors, the principal said, building the windows were well-designed with natural lighting with very large classrooms on the first level hosting some of the best research labs in the university from the third to the sixth floor.

Besides hosting outside community meetings and government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, this building, the Principal explained that it is also utilised by various colleges including as well as hosting the university mature entry exams.

“The fourth floor has the largest Computer laboratory that was funded by the African Development Bank that can accommodate up to 300 hundred students. We have added security cameras to monitor the building 24 hours.

We have redesigned the parking lot and fenced the entire place and reserved some rooms on request by university and other users and we try to make sure that building as very clean and usable 24/7.

We have ensured that all our buildings have firefighting facilities and at every level we have fire extinguishers. So we are compliant in all our buildings and we have enhanced optic fibre for good internet connectivity”, Prof. Oyana explained.

Makerere’s Block A front view

The NBCA 2023 Awards are aimed at honouring commendable efforts  taken by developers in championing  two fundamental elements:- Accessibility and Fire safety.

Government of Uganda enacted a Building Control Act 2013 and also created the National Building Review Board as an agency under the Ministry of Works mandated to promote and ensure  planned development and safe  building structures are  developed in harmony with the environment.


 Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS