Geologists seek pre-construction investigation
To mitigate structural failures, the Nigerian Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (NAEGE) has restated the need for geo-scientific investigation in the construction sector as a means to guarantee project sustainability and environmental protection.
The association emphasized that construction of structures such as buildings, dams, roads, highways among others, should be preceded by comprehensive integrated engineering geological investigations, which must be coordinated and certified by Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMEG).
According to a communiqué issued at the end of its third international conference, the association wants members to be actively involved in exploitation and evaluation of naturally occurring construction materials such as lateritic soils, sands, gravels and quarry products.
The association said: “For the sustainability of relevant infrastructural projects in the Ministries of Mines and Steel Development, Works and Housing, Water Resources, Petroleum Resources and Environment, geoscientists should be engaged in pre-construction investigation and monitoring. It frowned strongly at incessant collapse of infrastructure in Nigeria, heaping the blame on negligence of pre-construction investigation.
The conference stressed that all natural resources being mined or planned as well as construction materials should be efficiently monitored and evaluated by geoscientists in order to avoid and or mitigate the impacts of environmental hazards such as tremors, landslides, erosion, flooding and gas flaring.
“The status of geosciences regulatory body, the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists should be strengthened in project consultancy and construction works in Nigeria as is the case with other professional bodies such as, COREN and ARCON.
In ensuring sustainable infrastructural development and minimisation of environmental hazards, the communiqué signed by the associations’ national president, Prof. Tamunoene Aham, said there is a need for partnership between NAEGE, government institutions, development partners and other professional bodies.
He stated that application of geologic knowledge to solving civil engineering problems is the goal of an geologist. This according to him, is not only to ensure that civil structures serve their full design life, but, prevents untimely, premature and needless failure of civil infrastructure.
Abam posited that NAEGE would work closely with the government to advise decision makers, shape opinions and serve as a major force in the development of infrastructure in the coming years.
“NAEGE contributed to increased public awareness on the important roles of engineering geology in development and to public safety through our leadership, advocacy and applied researches in engineering geology and the environment.
“We believe that our members have a responsibility to assume stewardship over their fields of expertise, continue to serve as a national network of engineering geologists devoted to excellence, while upholding sound principles of scientific inquiry with respect to the study and evaluation of geologic processes, their impact on humans and building public appreciation for how engineering geology contributes to protection of property.