Following a recent spate of building collapses in Ghana, the Engineering Council of Ghana has established a committee of professional engineers to investigate the situation. The collapse of more than four-storey buildings under construction has resulted in deaths and injuries in various parts of the country. In the early hours of today, four people were injured after a church building collapsed at Old Bortianor in the Ga South Municipality of the Greater Accra Region, with no clear cause of the collapse, just like other past incidents.
The President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Henry Kodwo Boateng, has described the situation as worrying and attributed it to the lack of proper supervision by professionals. According to Boateng, the structures that have collapsed in recent times may have passed through the hands of all the building professionals from architects, quantity surveyors, engineers, and other professionals in the building industry, yet they are unable to stand the test of time.
Boateng further queried whether professionals were involved from designs to the point where they collapsed. He revealed that their investigations into the collapsed building at Akyem Batabi indicated that masons and other artisans who had little knowledge about big structures were the ones working on the project. He also questioned the monitoring and evaluation level of various assemblies after giving permits for construction.
For the most part, Boateng believes that the motive for the setting up of the committee is to investigate the issue and the outcome will serve as a guide to dealing with the canker. The committee is made up of engineers from IET and Ghana Institution of Engineering. The IET is urging the general public and institutions to seek the services of professionals to save the country from such situations and deaths.
In a nutshell, the lack of professional supervision and monitoring in the building industry in Ghana is a major concern. It is important that all building professionals are involved from the design to the completion of projects. The authorities responsible for giving permits for construction must also ensure proper monitoring and evaluation to prevent building collapses. The IET is also calling for an end to political influence at the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to allow professionals and technical people to do their work effectively. It is high time that Ghanaian authorities prioritize the safety of citizens in the building industry.