Another Disaster To Hit Accra

As Ghanaians continue to wail over the collapse of a six-storey uncompleted building at Nii Boi town, and city authorities are outlining measures to forestall any future occurrence, information reaching The Al-Hajj indicates that another disaster of higher magnitude could befall the country again in the near future if remedial measures are not immediately taken.

Intelligence report available to this paper indicates that another high-rise building likely to collapse within the foreseeable future is just right ‘in front’ of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The over ten-storey building still under construction along the beach road between Accra and Teshie was said to have developed serious structural defects from the sixth floor onwards and was detected by city authorities for close to a year now, yet the owners continue to develop it.

According to a dependable source, city authorities detected the flaw which they attributed to the use of inferior building materials after the building had reached the sixth floor.

However, no action was taken until when the project reached the tenth floor and it was becoming obvious to even the untrained mind before the contractors were asked to stop work for further investigations.

The Al-Hajj has been investigating this matter since last year but received no cooperation from all those who matters.

The structure, which is believed to be developed into residential apartments and is almost sold out to prospective buyers, according to engineers familiar with its construction has no problem from the ground floor up to the sixth floor.

However, they say that the challenge, which they blame on the use of inferior materials, is from the seventh floor onwards.

Our sources say if nothing is done about the shoddy work on the building, the project could suffer the fate of the collapsed Melcom building at Achimota last year and recent one at Nii Boi Town.

According to the source, AMA’s attention was brought to this dangerous act, but was reported to have said they were investigating the matter only to allow the contractors to continue with the building, which is now near completion.

As if to blame the unfortunate happenings on the various sub-metros, AMA as part of preventive measures has decided to take the supervisory role of high-rise buildings from the sub-metros to the head office.

Connoisseurs in the building industry say the closeness of the building to the sea demands that it gets a solid foundation and is constructed with quality materials that can withstands the ‘shocks’ of the salty surrounding it is located.

People familiar with the project say the owner(s) of the facility have strong links with officialdom; therefore it would be difficult for the structure to be pulled down to avert any calamity or loss of life in the foreseeable future.

Another engineer who has something to do with the structure disclosed to The Al-Hajj on condition of anonymity that considering the amount of money sunk into the construction of the building it will be heartbreaking if AMA decides to demolish it.

It would be recalled that, in the heat of the agonizing discussion of the Melcom building that collapsed at Achimota last year, which claimed several lives, another super-structure was identified and indeed earmarked for demolishing at Adentan, but till date the weak building has not been touched.

Last Thursday, a six-storey uncompleted building collapsed at Nii Boi town, a suburb of Accra, in which about five people were reported, trapped with one reported dead.

This ignited the debate on how ‘permits’ are approved for the construction of such building and the kind of inspections carried out by city authorities.

Five officials of AMA and the owner of the collapsed building have been arrested and granted police enquirer bail waiting to be officially charged.

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