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02.04.2007 General News

Prosecute contractors, building engineers - NADMO boss

The National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), George Isaac Amoo at the weekend advocated for the prosecution of contractors and building engineers who do shoddy work.

He observed that most disasters that occurred particularly during rainstorms, which normally caused havoc to school blocks, were due to the use of inferior materials, constructional and structural defects as well as the lack of technical supervision by engineers and contractors.

Mr Amoo, who expressed the concern during a press briefing to end his one week tour of the Central region in Cape Coast, said the time had come for contractors who make mistakes resulting in the collapse of building to be punished to serve as deterrent to others.

He said the tour, which took him to all the 13 districts in the Central region and other disaster scene in Assin Nsuta, Breman Asikuma and Twifo Praso was to enable him get first hand information on the problems of NADMO officials and also to involve all stakeholders to join in the campaign against disaster the prevention.

He said it was unfortunate in this era of "technological know-how" most projects being undertaken by district assemblies such as classroom blocks were the most affected when there were rainstorms and stressed the need for district assemblies to engage the services of qualified and professional contractors and engineers to execute such projects to avoid disasters.

Mr Amoo stated that about 80 percent of disasters that occurred in the country were mainly caused by man and stressed the need for all stakeholders to endeavour to prevent disasters, since the relief normally given by NADOM during disaster could not negate the pain, suffering and the loss of property people incur.

He said NADMO was shifting from post-disaster occurrence reaction or relief distributing organisation, to a pre-disaster prevention management, which called for pro-active programmes to educate the public on how to prevent disaster and tasked district assemblies to ensure strict enforcement of their by-laws to enable the organisation to achieve its objectives.

Mr Amoo said the tour revealed, rainstorms, floods, wild bushfires, domestic fire, water pollution, landslides soil degradation, earthquake, old and weak buildings, sea erosion, road accidents, indiscriminate tree felling and the activities of Fulani herdsmen as the major disasters which kept recurring in the region with devastating consequences.

He expressed concern about the rate at which sand was being cleared along the beaches coupled with sea erosion and advised that communities seriously affected by sea erosion should re-locate to prevent them from being "swallowed up" by the sea if there was serious tidal wave.

Mr Amoo was also worried about the several old and weak buildings in the region, stressing that there had been instances where such houses collapsed under heavy rainstorm resulting in the loss of life and properties and urged district assembly and all stakeholders to ensure that they inspect all such buildings and initiate the necessary actions to forestall any calamities in the future.

The NADMO coordinator urged district assemblies, chief and other stakeholders to give the NADMO secretariats the necessary support to enable them carry out their public education programmes.

Source: ghanadistricts