The Tragedies of Building Collapse

By Mr Ibrahim Nasir W.O.

“Why?” is the very big question that inquisitive people ask on the sight of collapse of towns and city buildings. The reasons are not far to seek when we take into consideration, the various factors connected with building activities. It is important to be aware of the fact that building construction is highly complex in nature and carried out by many professionals, who do their work with a lot of effort.

A building, which is doomed to collapse, starts its earth-bound journey right from the drawing board. Architects are supposed to be behind the planning of strong, magnificent flawless structures.

Working hand-in-hand with them are structural engineers, who calculate the amount and orientation of iron works with the concrete structures; but pathetically, because these engineers or professionals charge pretty highly, a number of house owners often circumvent this stage.

There are instances of structures erected overnight, especially during weekends, so as to escape the scrutiny of town planning men. Then comes construction costs which, in recent years, have gone astronomically high, so much so that, the amount of money, which goes into the erection of a single structure today, would conveniently have built two or three structures a decade ago.

The prohibited costs have driven intending house owners to embark on a number of cost-cutting measures, which result in erection of sub-standard buildings, whose ending come quicker than thought, and are usually God-awful.

Lest I forget; human factor, i.e., the labour force, requires round-the-clock supervision, failure of which is grace. This is not necessarily because the labourers are ignorant or unknowledgeable, but to check incoherence to instructions by labourers, who prefer to save time and energy, by circumventing the constituted procedures or established plans.

Quite apart from these factors is the fact that honesty is a rare commodity among the labour force. Porous site supervision will certainly lead to poor labour force inputs as fainter materials could be used by labourers.

Just when we take a painstaking view at the factors without the intention of attempting or tailoring them to our frugal mentality, we will unmistakably be in the position to answer the very big question: why do buildings collapse? Thus, we should afford to sort the wheat from the chaff!

Mr Ibrahim Nasir W.O. is of the English Language Department, Uncle Bado Memorial Schools, Kaduna.

Culled from The Badography publication of July, 2017



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