Collapsed Building Survivor Suffers Trauma

Najat Lanta Dumbe and father Dr Yunus Dumbe

Najat Lanta Dumbe and father Dr Yunus Dumbe



Five-year-old Najat Lanta Dumbe, daughter of Dr Yunus Dumbe, is currently suffering from an intermittent trauma after surviving the disaster wreaked by the collapsed Nii Boi Town structure, last week Thursday.

Her father, a lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Department of Religious Studies, was not at home at the time of the disaster.

He had moved to Kumasi to take up a full time appointment even as he maintains a close link with the Islamic University, Ghana in Accra. His wife who is in the country to do her field work is a student at the Bayreuth University, Germany, was in the house with the little girl when the weak structure collapsed trapping both of them.

Part of the collapsed structure, Dr Dumbe said, jutted into their house and so it was not surprising that his apartment gave way when the disaster struck.

He and his family now live in a hotel, Link Gate Hotel, in the neighbourhood where he pays GH¢40 a night.

Narrating his pathetic story to the DAILY GUIDE, he said, ‘I was in Kumasi when word reached me at dawn of Thursday about the collapsed structure and how my family was trapped and our domestic appliances all gone. I was preparing for my morning prayers at the time, a ritual I found difficult to accomplish under the stress.’

He dashed to Accra to learn about how some Good Samaritans in the neighbourhood rescued his wife and daughter from the damaged apartment.

His daughter is now suffering from bouts of trauma especially when she hears the sound of vehicles. It reminds her about the excavator which is now synonymous with the collapsed building.

‘My daughter cries unusually especially when she is woken up from sleep and would want to be close to her mother, a symptom of the trauma she is now suffering,’ he said adding that ‘even her mother wonders sometimes whether she is really alive.’

Dr Dumbe said he was not surprised about the disaster because the signs were there long before. He mentioned that ‘we mobilised ourselves earlier and met the owner of the collapsed building to express concern about the danger the building posed but the man played down on our apprehension. That was four months ago.’

Continuing, he hinted, ‘Part of the structure extends into our house and a month ago something dropped on my roof from the construction site creating a hole. My room was flooded when there was a downpour and when I complained, a foreman at the site brought a roofing sheet to mend it. We are stressed not knowing how long we are going to stay in the hotel.’

The Nii Boi Town structure which collapsed last week Thursday is ample evidence about how the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is not on top of affairs.

The owner of the structure and some building inspectors who were alleged to have been supervising the construction work rather than stop it have been arrested.

The ‘Stop Work Produce Permit’ inscriptions which usually appear on every construction site in the city of Accra do not mean much as their representation by and large is an invitation for owners to go and grease the palms of the city authorities.

 
By A.R. Gomda

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