Wait until we are in crisis

In 1998 Ghana experienced an unprecedented load shedding all over the country. During the period, government came out to promise a lot of interventions to curb the situation. This was after a lot of businesses had layed off their workers and people lost their homes to fire as a result of power fluctuations and its associated mishaps. This motivated me to write an article under this headline for publication in one of the weekly newspapers.  The said article never was because after my father read it, he lamented he wouldn't be responsible for any issues that may arise if certain issues I've addressed are made public. Dependent as I was, I decided to do away with my article with the hope that later in life, the need may arise.

Wednesday 7th November will forever remain in the history of Ghana and Melcom Group of Companies as a five-storey building housing the Achimota branch of Melcom Stores collapsed to the ground. As of the time of writing this article, 76 people have been rescued with 4 confirmed dead. It was reported yesterday that the President, His Excellency John Mahama was at the scene of the accident and has *sweared* to deal ruthlessly with whoever has a hand in this tragic incident. Also, the Mayor of Accra has confirmed that the building was without permit.

Question is, would the issue of permit have been made public if this calamity had not taken place?
Didn't the Accra Metropolitan Assembly know that the building was without permit?
What mechanisms has the Assembly put in place to monitor such buildings?

There are a thousand and one buildings in the country that are without permit. Those who do may not have emergency fire exits. A 12 floored building owned by a reputable organization in the heart of the city has only one (1) central staircase and an elevator. Are the authorities waiting to witness a tragedy before something is done about it?

For how long will we continue to wait till disaster befall us?



  1. hmm this debate will not end,all i can say is we need to check ourselves.. we have no one to blame but us. #thesystem

    1. Surely I agree with you cos President Obama even asserted that we don't need strong men, but strong institutions.

  2. This issue of building permits is a ticking timebomb especially for multi-storey buildings in Ghana. The process of obtaining it is so bureaucratic that most people do not follow it through to the end. I can say that more than 50% of buildings in Accra do not have building permits because of this. Officials in charge of issuing building permits use it to extort money from landlords who want to obtain one. But with multi-storey building something needs to be done to ensure that they are all structurally sound and electrical wiring properly done. My condolences to all the dead and their families and my sympathy to the injured.

    1. Thanks ghman, very well said, I pray somebody out there read your comment and take a second look at the public sector line of communication. Don't you think it will be very prudent if gov't takes this *Melcom* opportunity to witch-hunt all such structures in the country?


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