[OPINION] COLLAPSE OF BUILDINGS: WHO IS TO BE BLAMED?

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By: Kunle Sotibi.

In many cities in Nigeria are dilapidated buildings which have caused so many deaths and have injured many when it eventually fell apart. So many questions runs through the mind when you see people living in buildings which the structures are weak and have the tendency of falling anytime.

The recent incidence of building collapse , is the one that occurred on Wednesday, March 13 2019 at Ita Faji, in Lagos. The building housed school atop (two nursery in the first floor and a primary at the topmost floor) and on the ground floor, a store complex. So, when it fell many pupils were trapped in rubbles. One wonders at first why the Ministry of Education granted such school license in that kind of unhealthy environment.

According to findings, it was discovered that the Ministry of Environment had marked the collapsed building for demolition since a year ago because of its weak nature.

But why is it that those who ought to demolish the building refused to do the needful? The Lagos State Government need to investigate that.

WHO IS TO BE BLAMED!

Before it rains, it thunders for the blind to be on the alert. If the cripple was informed about an impending war, he has to act fast, or else the war will destroy him.

The collapse of buildings in the country has been faulted by many on the weak government policies and the engineers in charge of building construction for using substandard materials. But what of those who know that the structure that host them is weak and can collapse anytime, are they not to be blamed as well?

There are some structures that collapsed due to natural disasters but many have fallen for human errors. Many don’t take things serious until the negative happen. How could a parent enroll his child in a school that has been marked for demolition? Nigerians need to take safety precautions because prevention is better than cure. Why should innocent children lost their lives because of carelessness.
Well, the blame game won’t make any difference, what will stop this unhealthy happenings is when those concerned start to act fast when a structure starts waning off.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

The Ministry in charge of environment and planning should embark on a survey to identify weak structure. And mark those structures, notify the residence in due time and act on it. Government should make sure its officials are free from corruption and ensure they do their job adequately.

To the citizens, to live under a dilapidated building is like calling for death. We should try to avoid this even if we are going through the worst in life. As the saying goes, ‘when there’s life, there’s hope.’ Hope is better than death.

So why would you want to endanger your lives and that of others when you have the option of running from your house? Of what advantage is bribing or lobbying for cancellation of demolition of dilapidated structure when at the end it will fall.

To those in charge of building construction, they should stop using substandard materials for many have lost their lives for that. Money gained through this dubious work will eventually finish but conscience will keep hunting the perpetrators. Why not do good and safe lives?

To those who had lost families and loved ones in collapse of buildings or those who have been handicapped in this accident, we pray quick recovery both mentally and physically.

I will rest my pen on the words of Charles Boustany, which says ‘Encouraging wellness and prevention helps improve quality of life and can lower costs, too. I saw too many patients who had poor health because of their decisions, but too often, all they needed was a doctor to help point them in the right direction’.

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