A Storey building at Ahiaeke, along Ikot Ekpene road by Ahiaeke Community Market, Umuahia, Abia State Capital collapsed early Sunday morning with construction workers reportedly trapped and some feared dead.
Following the collapse of the three-storey building, individuals have been advised to engage qualified and certified professionals to handle their building projects.
According to sources living in the area, the section of the building which collapsed could be attributed to excessive load on the old uncompleted building, which has been existing for more than thirty years.
Reacting to the development on Monday, the Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners Abia State Chapter, Town Planner Stephen Nwazue maintained his call on the use of professionals to build, stressing that building requires carefulness in setting the foundation among other compartments.
He said considering the years the building has lasted, and how many stories it is housing, the developer should have carried out an Integrity Test on the foundation in order to ascertain the strength and carrying capacity before adding up new structures.
He stressed that if professionals were engaged before the add ups, they would have advised the developer properly on the need to consider the strength of the foundation.
Tpl Nwazue blamed the landlord for the collapse, stating that he flouted all building standards by adding more structures even when he was aware that the foundation had lasted more than 30 years, maintaining that it is not ideal.
While thanking God that no life was lost in the sordid development, Tpl Nwazue encouraged developers to stick to what they have designed and avoid that which was not included in the initial design, pointing out that any addition will also add extra weight to the foundation.
He also advised developers to draw their building plans, visit Town Planning Authority within their jurisdiction and obtain permission to build according to that which they intend, emphasizing that the Abia State Building Regulations have made it compulsory that Soil Stability test must be carried out when a developer intends to build more than three-storey building.
Tpl Nwazue said the soil sample test is imperative in that it shows the capacity of the soil to carry the building one intends to erect pointing out that the Regulation is binding as any Developer who intends to build must get it or forget building.
He said this Regulation will help check incidences of building collapse in the State if strictly adhered to.