'Earthquakes don’t kill, poor buildings do' - GSA pushes for L.I.
The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has revealed that it is pushing for a Legislative Instrument (LI) that will mandate all public buildings to adhere to the country’s building codes.
Executive Director of the Authority, Prof Alex Dodoo, told the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Wednesday that although Ghana launched the building code in October 2018, there is no LI to mandate developers or building owners to follow regulations in the document.
“The Ministry is pushing for legislation so that it becomes mandatory for all buildings that the public has access to and even for private buildings to be tested to be in line with those codes,” he told host Daniel Dadzie.
Prof. Dodoo explained that with the passage of the LI, owners of public buildings like shopping malls and supermarkets would be required to display their certificates in front of the building, indicating that the building has passed the fitness test.
Where are is no such certificate on a building, tt would then be the prerogative of the public to decide whether to go into an ‘unfit’ building or not, he explained.
His comments come on the back of recent near-fatal structural malfunction of public buildings.
Just Tuesday, parts of the ceiling at the Kumasi City Mall in the Ashanti regional capital caved in but the mall had been closed at the time so no casualties were recorded.
A few weeks ago the ceiling of the Accra Mall also caved in injuring three persons.
One construction worker died and six others got injured in October after parts of a building they were working on near Legon Mall in Accra collapsed.
Addressing the concern on poor buildings and warning from the Geological Service about a looming earthquake, Prof. Dodoo noted that the country could survive the natural disaster better if strong buildings were put up.
He explained that poorly constructed buildings and buildings that are not earthquake resistant are the ones that collapse when the earth shakes, killing occupants or passers-by.
“Earthquakes don’t kill, poor buildings do…if buildings are put up properly in an earthquake, the damage is limited” he stressed.