The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) is advocating the demolition of the old Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Office in Accra and other disaster stricken buildings that have been abandoned for years.
According to the Director of Communication of NADMO, Mr George Ayisi, this would prevent the sudden collapse of these buildings which are weak and pose danger to the public especially those who work or live around them.
“The Foreign Affairs building is high. God forbid if something happens, it may affect (people). I think we should do the needful, if we have to pull them down. Let’s get the experts so they can pull it down without causing harm to adjoining places so that we will feel safer,” he said in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday.
“We can put up another structure on it because as of now no one is using it and it is just standing there. It poses danger to all of us. So the authority that are clothed with the power to do that let them act and act fast,” he added.
The interview sought to find out what the NADMO was doing about weak structures in various parts of the country including the June 3 flood/fire disaster buildings at Adabraka and the Foreign Affairs building in Accra.
Some of these buildings have developed cracks and are at the mercy of the weather. The 10-storey Old Foreign Affairs building, for instance, has been left unattended to 12 years after fire swept through it.
The edifice which shares a compound with the Accra Regional Passport Office, near Tema Station, suffered the unexpected on October 21, 2009, and has since been a safe haven for animals while plants have grown in them.
Mr Ayisi said NADMOas part of its routine exercise identifies such buildings and writes reports to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to take action on them since NADMO does not have the mandate to demolish them.
“Once we have submitted a report that (the buildings) are not fit for purpose and pose danger to people, we need to take action to pull them down. If the assembly needs further power from the court they should take that step to do it so they can pull them down.”
According to Mr Ayisi, the passage of a legislative Instrument(LI) for the NADMO Act 2016 (Act 927) would cloth the organisation with the power to take steps to enforce some of its recommendations.
He said the LI would also make it mandatory for anyone who wants to build to get permit from NADMO after its personnel assess their sites to ensure they were not flood or earthquake prone.
BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI & JONATHAN DONKOR