Ghana: Most of the high rise buildings in Ghana are not safe as there is no system in place to measure the regular changes which occur in the structure of these buildings, said a Ghanaian geospatial expert, William Marbell.
Marbell’s caution has become even more relevant following the collapse of the five-storey building that housed Melcom Stores at Achimota in Accra.
Marbell, who is Projects Director for the Business Development Division of Trimble Africa, said there is a system failure on the part of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure that they collect regular geospatial and structural data on high rise buildings and so any of those buildings can collapse at anytime.
“The MMDA’s are supposed to collect monthly data on all high rise buildings so we can know whether they are going through any movements, sinking, developing cracks and all that in the interest of public safety,” he said.
“I dare say that these things are not being done even though the technology for those regular measurements exists and it would cost Ghana just about USD 2 million to install and implement these geospatial technologies,” he added.
Marbell said “you take a picture of some of the high rise buildings in Accra and go check with AMA whether they have geospatial reports on them – whether they know what kind of changes are occurring on those buildings.”
He noted that one of the reasons for the failings on the part of the MMDAs was also because they have employed planners in place of surveyors to be collecting sensitive data which informs the permits they grant for some structures to be put up.
“Go check who are heading the survey departments of the various Assemblies – they are planners and not surveyors so they look at locations from the perspective of planners and grant permits for the construction of structures that pose danger to public safety,” he said.
Source: Joy Online