Four die as building collapses in Enugu
• LASBCA explains cause of frequent building collapses
Tragedy struck in Enugu, on Friday night when four children of the same parents lost their lives following the collapse of a building at Agric Quarters in Mgbemena, Coal Camp, Enugu North Local Council.
The Chairman, Enugu Capital Territory Development Agency (ECTDA), Mr. Uche Anya, who visited the scene of the collapse, said that the structure, which was approved for animal husbandry, was converted for residential purposes.
The ECTDA chairman revealed that despite not being fit for human habitation, the structure had 44 rooms, which were all occupied.
He said: “As soon as we got the intelligence, we rushed to the place, but four children had died in the episode. It was danger waiting to happen. The construction was irresponsible, and the place should never have been occupied by human beings. They claimed that they were doing animal husbandry and poultry there, but it turned out that there were 44 rooms with over 200 occupants. The fence line was unacceptable, and unfortunately, the people we lost in the tragedy are innocent children and it is very painful.”
Anya added that the agency would continue to sensitise the public on the need to live in a more conducive environment to avoid future occurrences of the unfortunate incident.
According to him, the compliance unit of the agency under his leadership would ensure that structures erected by landlords and contractors adhere strictly to the approved plan.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Owodunmi Oki, has linked the frequent rate of building collapsed in the country to attitudinal problems, and lack of maintenance culture.
He assured that the issue of building collapse will be reduced to the barest minimum in the country.
Oki spoke at Business Day Conference in Lagos, on Sustainable building with the theme: “Addressing the Challenges of Building Collapse in Nigeria.”
Decrying the frequent rate of building collapse in the country, Oki said there are a lot of quacks and professionals who lack proper credentials.
He lamented that there are fewer than 4,000 registered architects, noting that over 6,000 other architects are not registered.Oki underscored the crucial role that professionals in the construction sector must undertake to counter the recurrent trend of building collapse.
“Construction often starts with the architect who designs and plans the project. The structural engineers are to ensure that the structures can withstand the stress and pressure imposed by use and the environment,” he explained.
He elaborated on the responsibilities of various professionals in the construction process, including builders, mechanical and electrical engineers.
Oki, therefore, advocated increased vigilance and community involvement in curbing the menace of building collapse.
Oki called for the use of appropriate building materials and thorough documentation of all individuals working on construction sites.
Addressing the need for collective action, he highlighted the importance of cooperation among various professional bodies and stakeholders.
Oki, therefore, called for a unified approach to ensure the safety and stability of constructions.
“To end building collapse in Nigeria, professional bodies should register all deserving practitioners, as this would promote professionalism and end quackery in the built sector.”
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