Call to Action: Preventing Building Collapses

It was a sad day on 13, March 2019, for many pupils and parents in Ita-Faaji, Tinubu, area of Lagos, Nigeria. A three-storey building on 63, Massey Street collapsed, taking with it residents of the building and pupils who schooled in the building.

Preliminary investigations by regulatory agencies revealed that the building had earlier been marked for demolition. This collapse comes barely nine months after another building on the same street caved in. Barely a week after the first, another building collapsed in Lagos Island.

A lot of questions have been left unanswered. How did a school get approval to operate on the second floor of a building? How come a school was situated in a building that residents could barely move around comfortably? With the rate of building collapse occurring in Nigeria, there is a need for urgent reforms in the housing sector.

Goal 9 and 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) are geared towards Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and Sustainable Cities and Communities. There is a need for Governments to be proactive in the enforcement of town planning laws in their States. Regulatory agencies should perform their duties with the utmost dignity and efficiency. Sites and building materials should be inspected before building permits, and licences are granted.  we should call on the appropriate government agency to inspect the building and take necessary actions.

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