Municipal, Metropolitan, and District Assemblies do not have the professional capacity to effectively supervise buildings in their jurisdictions, the Ghana Institute of Architects (GiA), has said.
The GiA said it had identified that in some Assemblies, persons with backgrounds unrelated to building and construction were employed to perform supervisory functions on construction projects - a role ought to have been performed by professional engineers, planners, architects, and surveyors.
At a press conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Foster Osae-Akonnor, President of GiA, called for review of the Local Government Act, Procurement Act, among other laws to make it mandatory for the Assemblies to engage professionals in the built environment to undertake those supervisory works.
He said securing permits alone was not enough to guarantee the integrity of buildings, and recommended proper supervision at all stages of construction to ensure that all professional requirements were complied with.
'You go to certain Assemblies and then the background for the planner is an accounts officer; how does an accounts officer become planner? Most of the Assemblies do not have architects, engineers…they just pick the titles.
'We are building Ghana for ourselves, and we have to push to make sure that the professionals support the Assemblies to deliver their mandate,' Mr Osae-Akonnor said.
At the press conference, four separate dhoc committees were formed to investigate the causes of the recent collapse of buildings across the country and recommend actions to sanitise the construction industry.
The country, within a space of two weeks, recorded four separate cases of collapse of storey buildings under construction, three of which occurred in the Greater Accra Region and one in the Northern Region.
The dhoc committees, made up of five members each, were drawn from four built environment professional institutions - GiA, Ghana Institute of Planners, Ghana Institution of Engineering, and the Ghana Institution of Surveyors.
They are to investigate the circumstances that led to the collapse of the storey building under construction at the Old Bortianor, Adentan, and La Nkwatanang-Madina municipalities of the Greater Accra Region, and the University of Development Studies Campus in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region.
The committees are expected to commence work on Monday, May 22, 2023, and submit their report on June 5, 2023.
Mr Osae-Akonnor said the findings of the report and the recommendations would be delivered to the various sector Ministries and shared with stakeholders to guide policy formulation and to forestall future disaster.
Mr Mohammed Alhassan Damba, President of the Ghana Institute of Planners, charged the committees to be professional in their work and consider their duty as a national exercise that would help transform the industry.
'We do not want you to embark on a journey of fault-finding. Focus on ascertaining the facts based on the various procedures and processes already established for dealing with the built environment,' he said.
Mr Charles N. Adigvom, a Senior Member of the Ghana Institution of Engineering, urged the public to engage the services of professionals in their building projects, saying that the price to pay for engaging a non-professional could be deadly.
Source: Ghana News Agency