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Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi

Uganda
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Fire

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Destruction by fire of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga 
  • Ground transport infrastructure: Proposed widening of the Masiro Road
  • Management systems/management plan: lack of a Master Plan and a complete Management Plan with detailed disaster risk management plan and a tourism management plan.
  • Management activities: Management structure
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 2017

Total amount granted: 2011-2012: USD 68,365 from the Japanese FIT for an Expert Appraisal Mission; 2013-2016 (project on hold pending completion of the Master Plan): USD 650,000 from the Japanese FIT for the project: Technical and financial assistance for the reconstruction of Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, architectural masterpiece of the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, Uganda, World Heritage property in Danger. 2017: 3,600 USD from the World Heritage Fund for ICOMOS advisory consultancy for the finalization of the elaboration of the Master Plan

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 1998-2010)
Total amount approved : 111,292 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 6 February 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1022/documents/. A draft Management Plan was submitted on 1 March 2017.

  • Reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga: Positive progress is reported on construction of the roof rings, although work is slower than anticipated. The first part of the ceiling has now been completed, and work will continue on the remaining part of the ceiling, the roof and the rest of the building. The completion date is now foreseen for the beginning of 2018, with the firefighting and security work running to the end of 2019. There were problems reported with regard to keeping enough thatchers working on the project due to late payment of wages, missing equipment, and other concerns. There is also a need to ensure that the thatchers have sufficient skills in traditional construction techniques;
  • Disaster risk management strategy: In response to an expert technical review provided by ICOMOS and ICCROM that outlined some concerns over the potential impact of fire-fighting proposals, and the need to ensure that equipment was supported by fire management systems, plans have been provided. These are dated August 2013, however, they have no accompanying explanatory text. The timetable for completion of the installation of fire-fighting equipment is mid-2019, if adequate funding is available. Meanwhile temporary fire-fighting equipment has been installed. An emergency evacuation plan was submitted by the State Party on 1 March 2017. It is reported that there is a lack of security at the property in terms of lighting and patrols. Adequate risk prevention is also still not in place with regard to cooking equipment on the site;
  • A draft outline of the contents of a Master Plan has been provided, and the State Party will continue this work with guidance from ICOMOS;
  • Two plans are provided showing the layout of the property as it is now, and as proposed, with the latter showing structures that will be demolished, rebuilt, or renovated and the location of new structure including kitchens, a solar power plant, and a borehole and underground tanks. No detailed descriptions have been provided for these proposals, although several were discussed during the last Reactive Monitoring mission. The report also contains an extract from the Kampala Spatial Physical Development Plan of 2012 with information on the development of a Bus Mass Transport system for Kampala. This indicates routes linking Kasubi to other main cultural attractions, although the relevance of these to the property is not indicated;
  • A draft Management Plan was submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 1 March 2017. It is an updating of the previous plan;
  • No progress is reported on the development of an overall capacity-building strategy, although considerable efforts have been invested in training and motivating skilled artisans;
  • The proposal for the widening of Masiro Road no longer has a high priority amongst other road schemes for the capital;
  • Detailed plans for the conservation of the Bujjabukua: Efforts have been made to provide temporary shoring for this important traditional building, and measured drawings are provided. A detailed restoration proposal will be prepared in the future, but work cannot begin until the work on the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga is completed.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

Progress on installing the roof rings of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga is welcomed, though this has been slower than anticipated. Much of 2016 was taken up with resolving equipment needs and technical issues, which it is hoped have now been resolved. Problems have also arisen on site with regard to the work of the thatchers. This is expected to be resolved by the end of 2017, and work is now proceeding at a good quality although still somewhat slower than originally foreseen. ICOMOS and ICCROM emphasize that ongoing work on the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga should continue respecting the traditional construction systems, as the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) refers  several times to traditional craftsmanship. The reconstruction project should aim not only to complete the reconstruction of the building but also to reviving and sustaining traditional skills. For this reason, it is recommended that the State Party give high priority to augmenting the skilled workforce with experienced artisans, and to resolving cash flow problems that have impacted adversely on the workers. Reports done on the extrabudgetary Japanese-funded project show that the master thatcher, a community elder, is ensuring that the young thatchers have the adequate skills in traditional construction techniques. These trainings are welcomed and are further encouraged. Indeed, training, and overall valorization of the traditional artisans, should be considered a priority. 

Initial progress with the development of the Master Plan is welcomed and further encouraged. It is recommended that this work be given high priority as it is a means to define, justify and coordinate the various development activities at the property (and around the property such as the proposed Bus Transit System), which currently remain separate and lack detail. It is not possible to comment on the various proposals set out in the annotated plan of the site on the basis of that plan alone. There needs to be a clear differentiation between the Master Plan that concentrates on coordinating development and the Management Plan that puts in place ongoing systems of management. Until the Master Plan is in place, the need to halt all new development is reiterated, and this includes work on reconstructing or conserving buildings (other than the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga) and building new structures. The work of the Reconstruction Committee, which has a coordinating role, is also welcomed.

It is to be noted that the extrabudgetary project funded by Japan through UNESCO on the reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga contains risk preparedness and conservation activities. This project has been put on hold since July 2015 pending completion of the Master Plan. Until the extension of the project is approved, the funding for firefighting is not guaranteed.

The ICOMOS technical review (commented by ICCROM) of the fire-fighting proposals recommended that the Pump house and associated oil storage areas be re-located at least 20 metres from the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga. From the plans now provided, this recommendation does not appear to have been adopted. The plans provided are dated August 2013, and there is a need to clarify if the recommendations of the technical review have been taken into account. The review stressed the fact that technical measures can only reduce the risk and need to be augmented by fire safety management practices (including banning cooking fires in the vicinity of thatched buildings) as part of a wider risk-prevention strategy. As the reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga is likely to be completed before all the fire-fighting equipment is in place, the development of an overall risk prevention strategy remains a very high priority to be developed as part of the completion of the management plan. Such a strategy also needs to address the similarly urgent need for adequate security in terms of lighting and patrols. ICOMOS and ICCROM are concerned, however, about the appropriateness of proposed lighting at the site, both in terms of lamps that are foreseen for the courtyard, and for lighting which appears to be planned for inside the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga. It will be important to find lighting solutions that do not become visually distracting and therefore detract from the traditional aspects of the property. The training in firefighting carried out is welcomed and further encouraged.

The draft Management Plan provides an organizational chart for site management, and includes action plans for improvement of management practices, site maintenance, preservation of intangible heritage and disaster risk management (DRM). In regard to the DRM Plan, however, it does not appear that much progress has been made on its finalization. Given the strong priority on interim DRM measures and given that the new fire equipment may still take several years to be installed, it is advised that the State Party place a strong emphasis on completing this DRM Plan as soon as possible. There is also no mention of a Tourism Development Plan. 

In regard to the management framework, there are discrepancies that illustrate a need to reconsider the management structure and make sure that the management plan reflects the realities of management on the ground. For example, the State Party indicates that the current chart reflects the updated management at the property. Yet, while within the text the Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board is indicated as now acting as the site manager, the chart does not reflect this fact. Another example is the Contractor, Omega, which has been let go according to the report, is still within the organizational chart.

In terms of timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, in the light of a clearer understanding of when the main reconstruction work is to be completed, it is recommended that revised timeframes be approved by the Committee for the other corrective measures relating to the completion and implementation of the Management Plan, the development of the Master Plan and the development and implementation of a risk management strategy, for approval by the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.31
Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda) (C 1022)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.8, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the progress that has been made in installing the roof rings as part of the reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, even though progress has been slower than anticipated;
  4. Also welcomes the efforts made by the State Party for instituting training programmes for younger artisans and further encourages these efforts, while noting that high priority should be given to resolving cash flow problems that have impacted adversely on the workers;
  5. Further welcomes the initial work undertaken on the Master Plan and also encourages the State Party to continue this work, with support and guidance from the Advisory Bodies as a matter of high priority in the light of the urgent need to define, justify and coordinate the various development activities at the property, which currently remain separate and lack detail, and requests the State Party to halt all new development projects (except the reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga) until the Master Plan has been finalized and approved;
  6. Expresses its concern that risk management arrangements, encompassing fire-fighting equipment, fire management practices and security and other measures necessary to reduce risks, have still not been fully developed; urges the State Party to undertake this work as soon as possible as part of the finalization of the Management Plan, ensuring that solutions (especially in regard to lighting and other visible elements) respect the traditional aspects of the property; and hopes that the Japanese extrabudgetary project will be able to restart shortly in order to provide all necessary conditions for the success of the implementation of these activities;
  7. Notes that the ICOMOS technical review recommends modifications to the fire prevention system to reduce risk and increase effectiveness, and also requests the State Party to provide, as soon as possible, revised plans that address these recommendations, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also notes the progress made on the revised Management Plan, and further requests the State Party to update the organizational structure to take into account the Buganda Heritage Board as site manager, the existence of other committees related to the management of the property and any other changes that have been made to the structure, and to include a Tourism Management Plan;
  9. In the light of a clearer understanding of when the main reconstruction work is to be completed, recommends that revised timeframes be suggested by the State Party for the completion of other corrective measures relating to the completion and implementation of the Management Plan, the development of the Master Plan and the development and implementation of a Risk Management Strategy;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018;
  11. Decides to retain Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
41 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
    • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 41 COM 7A.54)
    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 41 COM 7A.55)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 41 COM 7A.2)
    • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 41 COM 7A.23)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.4)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 41 COM 7A.24)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.8)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.9)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.10)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.11)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 41 COM 7A.32)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.3)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.18)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 41 COM 7A.33)
    • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.34)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 41 COM 7A.35)
    • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 41 COM 7A.36)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 41 COM 7A.37)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 41 COM 7A.38)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 41 COM 7A.39)
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 41 COM 7A.40)
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 41 COM 7A.41)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 41 COM 7A.14)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 41 COM 7A.28)
    • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 41 COM 7A.29)
    • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 41 COM 7A.30)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 41 COM 7A.56)
    • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 41 COM 7A.15)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 41 COM 7A.42)
    • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 41 COM 7A.43)
    • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 41 COM 7A.25)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 41 COM 7A.26)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.16)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 41 COM 7A.21)
    • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 41 COM 7A.19)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 41 COM 7A.44)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 41 COM 7A.45)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 41 COM 7A.46)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 41 COM 7A.47)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 41 COM 7A.48)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 41 COM 7A.49)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 41 COM 7A.31)
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 41 COM 7A.22)
    • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.17)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.1)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 41 COM 7A.57)
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 41 COM 7A.27)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 41 COM 7A.51)
    • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 41 COM 7A.52)
    • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 41 COM 7A.53)
      Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.31

      The World Heritage Committee,

      1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
      2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.8, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
      3. Welcomes the progress that has been made in installing the roof rings as part of the reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, even though progress has been slower than anticipated;
      4. Also welcomes the efforts made by the State Party for instituting training programmes for younger artisans and further encourages these efforts, while noting that high priority should be given to resolving cash flow problems that have impacted adversely on the workers;
      5. Further welcomes the initial work undertaken on the Master Plan and encourages the State Party to continue this work, with guidance from the Advisory Bodies as a matter of high priority in the light of the urgent need to define, justify and coordinate the various development activities at the property, which currently remain separate and lack detail, and requests the State Party to halt all new development projects (except the reconstruction of the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga) until the Master Plan has been finalized and approved;
      6. Expresses its concern that risk management arrangements, encompassing fire-fighting equipment, fire management practices and security and other measures necessary to reduce risks, have still not been fully developed; urges the State Party to undertake this work as soon as possible as part of the finalization of the Management Plan, ensuring that solutions (especially in regard to lighting and other visible elements) respect the traditional aspects of the property; and hopes that the Japanese extrabudgetary project will be able to restart shortly in order to provide all necessary conditions for the success of the implementation of these activities;
      7. Notes that the ICOMOS technical review recommends modifications to the fire prevention system to reduce risk and increase effectiveness, and also requests the State Party to provide, as soon as possible, revised plans that address these recommendations, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
      8. Also notes the progress made on the revised Management Plan, and further requests the State Party to update the organizational structure to take into account the Buganda Heritage Board as site manager, the existence of other committees related to the management of the property and any other changes that have been made to the structure, and to include a Tourism Management Plan;
      9. In the light of a clearer understanding of when the main reconstruction work is to be completed, recommends that revised timeframes be suggested by the State Party for the completion of other corrective measures relating to the completion and implementation of the Management Plan, the development of the Master Plan and the development and implementation of a Risk Management Strategy;
      10. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018;
      11. Decides to retain Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
      Report year: 2017
      Uganda
      Date of Inscription: 2001
      Category: Cultural
      Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)(vi)
      Danger List (dates): 2010-present
      Documents examined by the Committee
      SOC Report by the State Party
      Report (2017) .pdf
      arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
      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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