The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, is said to have advised developers to stop building on pipelines because it is against the building regulations.
She says the building regulations provide that developments should be sited 20 meters away from either sides of service lines.
She has accordingly urged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to prevent such developments because such buildings could collapse on occupants during pipe bursts and result in casualties.
Issues of this nature are worrying because they make one wonder if institutions of state in charge of various aspects of societal development and progress are working.
We can allege as others do that officials of such state institutions compromise their positions for personal monetary gains without no regard for the safety of others and the public good in general.
Can the minister’s charge to the assemblies to ensure avoidance of building on pipeline be carried through?
It is sad that those working in public institutions and even private ones serving the public have taken a stand of exploiting the citizenry, in some cases giving tacit support to certain individuals and organisations to perpetrate social vices to the hurt of society, otherwise why on earth should anyone see it as normal to build on pipelines?
The Ghanaian Times sees both those building on pipelines and officials who did not prevent it as bad citizens who do not care about the good of society and so must both be dealt with.
From the minister’s explanation, should any such pipeline burst, the water that would gush out has the potential to collapse the building that stands on it and even kill the occupants.
It is curious that developers do not consider that one day they would suffer such calamity. Besides, don’t they consider it that their properties could be demolished by any serious political administration that is concerned with saving lives?
What about the cost to them? Right now, about 20 structures have to be demolished before the Ghana Water Company can have access to excavate and replace a 120-metre pipe somewhere.
Are the house owners going to be compensated? If not, they have lost greatly, but if yes, at whose expense?
The Ghanaian Times thinks it’s about time the state enacted special laws dealing with such specific cases of causing financial loss to the state in which case officials that compromise their positions for personal gains or even just neglect their duties could be charged and prosecuted.
Such prosecution should result in both imprisonment and confiscation of property. This is important because certain people are using their positions to harm societal good.
The Ghanaian Times is happy to learn that the water company would soon carry out a survey to determine the level of encroachment and work with the assemblies concerned to free the network for supplying water to the public.
Why soon but not now? Such dilly-dallying has given space and time for encroachers to take over public lands and turn round to make things difficult for the state to take back such lands.
State institutions must be proactive to stop any public behaviour or activities that work against them or face the challenge head-on to ensure sanity in the system.