Following the collapse of a two storey building in Umuahia, Abia State capital at the weekend, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has professionally commenced the assessment of all the buildings within the vicinity of the collapsed structure.
This, according to the officials of the professional body, is to avert future incidents and ensure that all the buildings in the area are strong.
The Chief Inspector of COREN, Umuahia area office, Engr. Victor Ihediwa said when the body visited debris of the collapsed building at No 88 Nkwere Street, Umuahia on Sunday that structures not built by professionals stand the risk of collapsing, even as he bemoaned the colossal loss encountered by the occupants of the building.
While assessing the collapsed structure with his members, Ihediwa said, “This building no matter when it was done shows that there is a clear sign that the foundation design is in error, because the building started falling by the sinking of the foundation and then the sharing of the columns.
“It is clear that there is no aggregate here. What we have here is a collection of mud used in building the beams and the slabs, no wonder they all shared away.
“Again, it is also clear to us that the wall of this building is very close to the soak-away, no wonder the foundation was quickly affected. It is unconnected with the fact that waters from the soak-away are draining to the foundation of the building and that could have caused this problem. So people erecting structures should learn how to space their soak-away, give the appropriate spacing so that the water in the soak-away does not get to the foundation of their building”.
Attributing it to the activity of some quacks, the COREN Chief Inspector, declared, “Actually, if this was not done by a quack, then no other person did it, because a professional in building cannot build this kind of house, using mud in the place of chippings and stones.
He vowed that COREN in Umuahia would henceforth take necessary action to stop such quackery in the state. In his comment, the branch chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Uzoma Ohia noted with sadness that the building collapsed vertically, pointing out that it signified wrong design, workmanship and foundation problem. NAN