MMDAS lack trained Building Inspectors PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 29 July 2010 14:16

The Registrar of the Architects Registration Council (ARC), Prof. Ralph Mills-Tettey, has acknowledged there was a shortage of trained Building Inspectors and other built environment professionals and technicians at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly (MMDA) levels.

The absence of enough Building Inspectors, in particular, has led to the inability of MMDAs to monitor the general construction, physical development and planning requirements in all settlements of the country.  That, in turn, has led to problems of uncontrolled development and non- compliance by developers with planning bye-law, building regulations and standard construction practices.

The end result, according to Prof. Mills-Tettey, had been the creation of several problems including, construction on water courses, which had led to flooding and the collapse of buildings throughout the country with their resultant loss of lives and property.

Prof. Mills-Tettey made these observations at the opening ceremony of the fourth annual ARC organized Development Control Workshop for building inspectors and the technical staff of MMDAs and other organizations across the country.  The five-day workshop was held at the Architecture House, Ridge Accra, under the theme: “Towards Effective Development Control”

The registrar stressed that ARC had been mandated with the responsibility of securing the highest practicable standards in the practice of architecture in Ghana, and the council therefore strives to work with other agencies in the pursuit of its goal to address specific manpower and physical development problems affecting the built environment.

He said he was hopeful that at the end of the five-day workshop, participants would be more conversant with the National Building Regulations,1996 (L.I.1630), appreciate more fully their role as frontline men in achieving the National Agenda for a Sustainable Built Environment and actively play their respective roles very well.  

Mr. Steve Akuffo in his presentation on “Development and Growth of Communities” dwelt on Accra as a case study.  He traced the city’s planning heritage from the colonial era, through the early post independence period to date.

He observes that Ghana had recorded over 20 years of continuous economic growth since 1984 but the “spatial implication of those 20 years of growth has been the urbanization of poverty”.  The 20 years of growth and “trade liberalization, he further observed, had led to a new type of architecture which is he described as “the proliferation of designed, metal gated shop fronts, container shops and kioks which act as commercial facilities during the day and sleeping shelters at night”

Mr. Steve Addo characterized urban centres in Ghana as being replete with physical or visible defects, delivering poor economic performance, having weak urban management structure and having sporadic and often non-compliant planning regime.

In order to salvage the worsening urban environments around the country, he called for Urban Master Plans based on the fundamental steps of identifying the existing situation, formulating tentative town structures, preparation of Master Plan and detailing of local area specific plans for immediate implementation.

The former president of the Ghana Institute of Architects noted that there were four basic responses to slums, namely: forced evictions, clearance and off-site relocation, clearance and on-site relocation and in-place upgrading.

In each and every one of the above situation, he stressed, there was the need for a “multi-displinary approach combing expertise in the fields of planning, architecture, all the built environmental players, transport, urban policy financial instructions interfacing with establishments from government, professional bodies, NGOs, private sector and with the active involvement of our communities”.

Mrs Cindy Badoe of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), described Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as the “process for orderly and systematic evaluation of a development proposal including its alternatives and objectives as well as effect on the environment, including the mitigation and management of those effects”.

She stressed the EIA was mandatory for development in the sectors of transportation, agriculture, general construction services, health, energy, tourism, manufacturing industry, forestry and wildlife and mining.

Credit: Daily Graphic, Tuesday, July 27, 2010