The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh has suspended two senior staff of the Techiman Municipal Assembly over a collapse of three (3) storey building that claim one life, injure one and suspected to have buried people under the debris due to their negligence.

The two Senior Officers, Mr. Alfred Osei Berko, the Municipal Engineer and Mr. Yeboah Isaac the Building Inspector were suspended indefinitely by the Regional Minister for their actions. He said they did not comply with law and have allowed the mayhem of such nature to occur, resulting to lost of life and properties.

A three-storey building containing about 30 stores under construction this dawn, at about 4:30am  collapsed at the Techiman market resulting in the death of security man who was sleeping at the construction site guarding cement at the Wa Station.

The collapsed storey building was a Project under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the Techiman Municipal Assembly and Alhaji Dan. The construction work was being carried out by Alhaji Dan when the building collapsed.

When the Minister summoned the Assembly management, the Municipal Coordinating Director, the Planning Officer, Budget Officer, the Engineer, the Building Inspector among others, the management failed to provide the PPP documents.

Mr. I. K. Acheampong, the Municipal Co-ordinating Director for the Techiman Assembly was caught in conflict of interest by the Minister for authorizing Chiefs to construct stores at the market in a letter he signed without date and writing to stop them at the same time.  He also said Mr. IK Acheampong failed to carry out directives by he the Minister to stop all unapproved constructions in the market when he (the minister) sent an official from RCC to Techiman to deputize him in a meet. The Engineer could not even speak to why he supervised such a shoddy work resulting to the collapse of the building and lost of life.

The Minister said the position of the Assembly and therefore, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was that they would comply with law and it was not in their interest to collapse anybody business nor prevent the contractors from construction or prevent the chiefs (nananom) from constructing structures from the market, but the due process has to be followed. “All Assembly Officers from the District Coordinating Director (DCD) to the Messenger will have to abide by the rules and regulation of their work”, he warned.

Briefing the media, the Regional Minister said the Municipal Engineer, Mr. Alfred Osei Berko and the building Inspector Mr. Yeboah Isaac who did not comply with law; who sat by, who appears in their position for all mayhem to happen has been suspended.  He said a letter will be written to the Controller and Accountant General Office, to their individual Banks to stop of their salaries till such time that the Committee that will be set up to investigate the matter if they are exonerated. The collapsed building had no permit according to the Building Inspector. The quality of materials was very poor and the Engineer was said to have supervised a shoddy work.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Techiman Mr. John Kofi Donyina after visiting the scene with the Minister directed that all ongoing projects in the market be halted pending fact finding Committee to be constituted by the Assembly to investigate and review all PPP projects/contracts.

“I have directed that an excavator be taken to the area to see if there are other people under it. I am by this halting all ongoing projects within the municipality. If you are executing government project you must adhere to the latest directive immediately or else a special task force I have constituted will come after you”, he disclosed.

The Municipal Fire Commander DOII Mr. Michael Korsah said excavators were to be brought from Sunyani to remove the debris.

Seidu Mumuni also a security man who was among the two survivors, disclosed that the incident occurred at about 3:30am at the Wa Station in the Techiman market. He said the contractor and his men had come to work the day before the disaster and had reached the third floor.

One of the injured persons in critical condition is currently on admission at the Holy Family Hospital. The body of the deceased was deposited at the morgue of the hospital.

 

IMORO T. AYIBANI

TECHIMAN