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Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi

Uganda
Factors affecting the property in 2012*
  • Management activities
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Destruction by fire of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga 

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Fire that resulted in the destruction of part of the property

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4351

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4351

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4351
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2012

2011-2012: 68,365 USD from the Japanese FIT for an Expert Project Appraisal Mission for the reconstruction of Muzibu Azaala Mpanga of the World Heritage property of the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2012
Requests approved: 3 (from 1998-2010)
Total amount approved : 111,292 USD
Missions to the property until 2012**

April 2010: World Heritage Centre mission; November 2010: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission; August 2011: World Heritage Centre mission; November 2011: World Heritage Centre mission; April 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

A report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party on 16 February 2012. From 2 to 9 April 2012, a joint World Heritage Centre /ICOMOS/ ICCROM reactive monitoring mission was carried out, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010). The mission report is available online at the following Web address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/36COM.

In this report, the State Party provides information on the implementation of corrective measures as follows:

a) Research project on traditional building materials and techniques of the Ganda Tomb buildings

A research project on the traditional building practices of other Ganda Tombs was started, the results of which will provide the detailed plans for the reconstruction of the Kasubi tombs. The project includes study visits to the sites, documentation of practices and interviews with elders who have a custodial role to skills and practices, as well as additional archival research.

The mission reported on the different activities that have been undertaken regarding research on traditional Ganda architecture and its intangible aspects, as well as the pilot projects implemented and the application of knowledge and skills in the reconstruction of the Tombs. It noted that there is a need to consolidate existing work and documentation carried out to substantiate decision-making processes on the reconstruction of Muzibu Azaala Mpanga and to strengthen the links between the tangible and intangible aspects of traditional Ganda royal architecture to assist its conservation and management. It further recommended increasing research partnerships with Makarere University and other institutions.

b) Documentation and reconstruction process of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga

The State Party indicates that the tangible and intangible aspects of the reconstruction process are being compiled and will be included in an illustrated report. Aspects documented so far include meetings, construction phases and physical construction process. Records include written reports, sketches and design drawings as well as photographs.

The mission reported that restoration works started at Wamala Tombs in March 2012, which constitute the official start of the Kasubi reconstruction. It noted the works implemented and the challenges faced regarding technical issues that have been highlighted by the UNESCO-Japan 2012 mission report. It underscored that a timeline for the Wamala works needs to be completed and integrated within the Kasubi Action plan. As for the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga project, the mission noted that the timeline for the completion of works is not accurate and needs to be revised, establishing a critical path with proposed benchmarks. It further noted that details in the design drawings will be informed by the results from the research project as well as from the renovations and repairs carried out at Wamala.

c) Preparation of a Master Plan for the property

The State Party reports that the Buganda Kingdom has developed a Master Plan for the reconstruction and conservation of the property. Based on the recommendations made by the World Heritage Centre, the process is to be revised and a work plan developed for implementation. No timeframe was mentioned as to when this process is expected to be concluded.

The mission reported that discussions with the National Technical Team were carried out on the concepts and contents of what the Master Plan would entail and the link with other planning tools for the property and its surroundings.

d) Implementation of the Management Plan

The State Party reports that the new Management Plan has been launched and that implementation has started, including the appointment of a site manager. The mission noted that the current 2011-2015 Management Plan takes into account recommendations made by the November 2010 mission and that the established vision and principles are being adhered to. However, it does not include provisions for land uses or activities to sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. These shortcomings, along with the detailed inventory of significant tangible and intangible features in relationship with the broader landscape, need to be addressed for the revision of the Management Plan to adequately identify actions for their conservation and management. The revised Management Plan should also address issues of collaboration among diverse stakeholders and deal with issues such as urban pressure and encroachment and contain a detailed risk Management Plan.

e) Role and profile of custodians and craftsmen

As for the custodians and the widows that look after Kasubi Tombs, the State Party indicates that they have all been registered on the pay-list of the Buganda Kingdom and are being paid at the end of each month, a sign of recognition from the Buganda Kingdom. The Nalinnya, as the chief custodian, facilitates provision of food supplements twice every month.

The mission confirmed the active involvement of custodians and training initiated on site and recommended that they take a more active role in the management team, with recognised roles and responsibilities.

f) Disaster Risk Management Strategy

The report from the State Party mentions that the reconstruction of Kasubi Tombs is a tripartite arrangement between the Ugandan Government, Buganda Kingdom and UNESCO. The Government of Uganda will donate USD 700,000 and the Buganda Kingdom USD 150,000. The component of Fire Fighting and Disaster Risk management is being addressed by the Japanese Government who will donate approximately USD 650,000 for the project through UNESCO. The strategy for Kasubi Tombs has yet to be completed but work has commenced on the preparatory and emergency measures to protect the property. The UNESCO-Japan project will not only look at issues of disaster risk management, but will also include a research programme on thatching of royal tombs conducted by Japanese experts. The inner fence to protect the main site from being accessed from all angles is completed; access is only from the recognized main entrance.

The mission reports that the Site Manager has received training on disaster management in 2011 in Japan, and has produced a preliminary strategy which has yet to be fully developed. In addition, staff training has yet to be undertaken as well as providing equipment to ensure the protection of the property.

g) Development of a capacity building strategy

Measures are already in place to build capacity of the artisans and to enable them to manage the reconstruction effectively. This effort is strengthened by the documentation of traditions and rituals and the transmission of know-how from traditional bearers from the Buganda Kingdom.

The mission noted that progress has been made regarding training of thatchers and overall awareness raising but that a full-fledged capacity building strategy is not yet in place. Although the Management Plan includes some activities, this does not constitute an overall capacity building strategy, which needs to be comprehensively developed, and which would include components such as maintenance, resources management, conservation documentation training, among others.

h) Other issues

The State Party reported on the results from the August and October 2011 missions and their outcomes. It also mentions actions being implemented to address waste management and for the replanting of fig trees and a reed fence to deter trespassing and littering. The mission noted that planting of trees is a sustainable solution and that actions need to be completed to deter further encroachment.  

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2012

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that there has been progress in improving the state of conservation of the property and in the implementation of the corrective measures adopted for the property. They note that in addition to the challenges faced in terms of the reconstruction strategy, it should be highlighted that urban encroachment and unregulated urban development can pose an additional threat to the property that needs to be adequately managed, through the definition and enforcement of regulations and guidelines, appropriate landscape management and larger collaboration among the diverse entities that have mandates pertaining to these issues. Interpretation and presentation are also aspects that need to be addressed. Finally, they recommend that the Committee welcome the support for the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, to be provided by the Government of Japan through UNESCO.  

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2012
36 COM 7A.18
Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda) (C 1022)

1.   Having examined document WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.17, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Welcomes the progress made by the State Party in the implementation of the adopted corrective measures, and in the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga in particular, and urges it to continue its efforts in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

4.   Also welcomes the support by the Government of Japan through UNESCO to address the fire fighting and disaster risk management component of the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, as well as the research on traditional thatching of royal tombs;

5.   Takes note with appreciation of the important contributions to be provided by the Government of Uganda and the Buganda Kingdom, for the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga;

6.   Also takes note of the results of the reactive monitoring mission to the property and encourages the State Party to implement its recommendations, in particular:

a)  Continue the research project, through enhanced partnerships with universities and other allied institutions, and implement actions to reflect traditional architectural knowledge and to witness traditions, such as in the reconstruction of the custodians’ houses or in the design of the Interpretation Centre,

b)  Define a comprehensive capacity building strategy and identify resources to address gaps in technical capacity critical for the implementation of the reconstruction strategy, including documentation, visitor management, risk management, among others,

c)  Prioritize the development of the Master Plan to address critical issues such as landscape management, urban pressure, enforcement of regulatory measures and increased collaboration between the different levels of authority and stakeholders,

d)  Finalize the development of the risk management strategy and train staff on disaster risk management measures,

e)  Develop a comprehensive interpretation and public awareness programme;

7.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

8.   Decides to retain Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

36 COM 8C.2
Establishment of the World Heritage List in Danger (Maintained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-12/36.COM/7A and WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add),

2.   Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 36 COM 7A.25)
    • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 36 COM 7A.26)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 36 COM 7A.15)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.1)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 36 COM 7A.33)
    • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.16)
    • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.2)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 36 COM 7A.3)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.4)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.5)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 36 COM 7A.8)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 36 COM 7A.20)
    • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.9)
    • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 36 COM 7A.30)
    • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 36 COM 7A.31)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 36 COM 7A.17)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 36 COM 7A.13)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 36 COM 7A.21)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 36 COM 7A.22)
    • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 36 COM 7A.27)
    • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 36 COM 7A.23.I)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 36 COM 7A.10)
    • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 36 COM 7A.11)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 36 COM 7A.34)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.12)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 36 COM 7A.32)
    • United Rep. of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 36 COM 7A.19)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 36 COM 7A.18)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.14)
    • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 36 COM 7A.35)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 36 COM 7A.24)
Draft Decision: 36 COM 7A.18

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.17, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Welcomes the progress made by the State Party in the implementation of the adopted corrective measures, and in the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga in particular, and urges it to continue its efforts in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

4. Also welcomes the support by the Government of Japan through UNESCO to address the fire fighting and disaster risk management component of the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, as well as the research on traditional thatching of royal tombs;

5. Takes note with appreciation of the important contributions to be provided by the Government of Uganda and the Buganda Kingdom, for the reconstruction of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga;

6. Also takes note of the results of the reactive monitoring mission to the property and encourages the State Party to implement its recommendations, in particular:

a) Continue the research project, through enhanced partnerships with universities and other allied institutions, and implement actions to reflect traditional architectural knowledge and to witness traditions, such as in the reconstruction of the custodians’ houses or in the design of the Interpretation Centre,

b) Define a comprehensive capacity building strategy and identify resources to address gaps in technical capacity critical for the implementation of the reconstruction strategy, including documentation, visitor management, risk management, among others,

c) Prioritise the development of the Master Plan to address critical issues such as landscape management, urban pressure, enforcement of regulatory measures and increased collaboration between the different levels of authority and stakeholders,

d) Finalise the development of the risk management strategy and train staff on disaster risk management measures,

e) Develop a comprehensive interpretation and public awareness programme;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

8. Decides to retain Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2012
Uganda
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2010-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 36COM (2012)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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