Make geological survey permit mandatory for buildings - Geo Survey Authority
The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) is advocating a mandatory geological survey to be part of the process of granting of building permits in the country.
It was, therefore, collaborating with the metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies to enforce this mandate, particularly for public buildings, before construction was allowed to start those projects.
Speaking at a sensitisation programme organised by the authority in Kumasi, the Director General of GGSA, Isaac Kuuwan Mwinbele, said that was to ensure the safety of the structures and the people who would be using those facilities.
Mr Mwinbele said involving the Geological Survey Authority right from the beginning of the process of issuing building permits would help guide the assembly and the contractors on the preventive measures to be put in place to avert a disaster depending on the nature of the land.
This was because not all the lands were suitable for the siting of some structures and as such, there would be need for the owners and the assemblies to get the authority involved in the granting of the building permits.
He said, already, the authority had been offering this service to the Ghana Highways Authority and the Ministry of Roads and Transport and believed that the time had come for the housing sector to also benefit from this service.
Building on the slopes
The Director General of the GGSA was worried that buildings had started springing up on the slopes of mountains and hills, saying: “At the vulnerable places such as Weija up to Aburi and this is a cause for worry.”
He said aside from the building or the construction works disrupting the structure of the land, “it could lead to landslides during a heavy downpour and the effects could be devastating.”
He said everyone should be concerned about the buildings springing up on the slopes of the hills and mountains in the country.
Mr Mwinbele said the mandate of the authority was to advise, promote and research on geoscientific issues concerning mineral resources, groundwater, environment, geo-hazards and land use planning to support sustainable economic development in Ghana.
He said the GGSA “carries out systematic geological mapping, assess, monitor and evaluate geological hazards and risks, collect geoscientific data, manage and disseminate geoscientific information and also promotes the search for, and exploitation of minerals in Ghana.”
The Director General of the GGSA, also, said though the government had been supporting the authority, there were still some challenges that were inhibiting its activities.
These challenges included inadequate resources and equipment to enable the authority to work efficiently and to deliver on its mandate.