THE collapse of buildings in Ghana will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a partnership between the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Engineering Council (EC), culminating in the inauguration of a 12-member joint committee.
The committee will utilise its varied expertise to provide solutions that will guarantee the resilience of buildings through the use of well tested quality building and construction materials.
The formation and inauguration of the committee was on the strength of a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) signed on February 3, 2021 between the two entities. With the guidance of that agreement, the committee will ensure adherence to engineering practicing standards and design codes; collaborate on quality control aspects in the use of construction and building materials and promote public education on engineering practices and use of engineering products.
Speaking at brief ceremony to swear in the committee members , Director General of the GSA Prof. Alex Dodoo recalled that the EC, the regulator for all engineering professionals had reached out to the GSA to encourage collaboration between the GSA and the EC for the purpose of improving building, building materials and all infrastructure across the country.
The basis for the collaboration, Prof. Dodoo noted, was that , “the Ghana Standards Authority has published the Ghana Building Code and we did make comments that when earthquakes strike, it’s bad buildings and structures that kill, not the earthquakes per se.”
Prof Dodoo said the Authority had published market surveillance data showing that building materials such as iron rods, cement, paint and several other products are not of the expected integrity in terms of standards and so “their use in building and construction, electrical works is problem.”
“The Engineering Council felt and justifiably so that working with the GSA, its regulation of engineering professionals which include anyone working in the engineering field, from artisans to engineers and who must be licensed by the Council, the expectation is that the products will be of the expected quality and standards and they will be used appropriately,” the GSA boss explained.
The end result will be that buildings in this country will be in line with the Ghana Building Code and building regulations which were published in 2022 and that the collapse of buildings will be a thing of the past.
The GSA, Prof Dodoo stated believed that the partnership will open doors for job creation, “in the sense that as professionals insist on the right thing, as the Standards Authority enforce standards, consumer and investor confidence will be renewed.”
Absence of standards means chaos
Chairman of the board of the EC, Ing Dr Kwame Boakye maintained that “any society that does not have standards is in the dark and fortunately in Ghana we have the Ghana Standards Authority to bring that enlightenment to us .”
“We need standards, not just in engineering but in just about everything that we do , because if you don’t know what standards are everything is in chaos,” he added.
Inaugurating the committee, Ing Dr Boakye tasked committee members to conduct their work with integrity and professionalism with the ultimate aim of making building more resilient than before.
The committee is made up of Ing. Gertrude Awumee , Ing. Frederick Asare-Yeboah Ing. Carlien Bou-chedid, Engr. Miriam Eduful and Ing. Joseph Oddei from the EC while Mr Clifford Frimpong, Ing Daniel Vincent Arthur, Mr. George Anti , Ing.. Mawul Tsaku, Ing Emmanuel Obeng , Ing Adelaide Akins from the GSA.