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A building, once properly constructed is expected to be in use for a very long time. Although every society has its own problems and Edo state is not an exception yet the very recent challenges of buildings collapsing in various locations have been giving the various arms of government and the people sleepless nights in view of the enormous loss of huge investments in housing, properties and human life. The major challenge on the issue of building collapse differ radically from one another on the professionals involves. This study reviews current challenges in the building industry in relation to collapse of buildings, loss of lives and properties. Data for the study were obtained through both primary and secondary means and through questioners administered to various professionals. The paper examines the increasing incidences of building collapse in Nigeria. The paper attributes the rising incidents of building collapse to the use of substandard building materials and incompetent professionals in construction activities, the refusal of the wider society to recognize professionalism and pay for the services and the attitude of the building contractors and other stakeholders as the major problem. The paper points that the government of Edo state has great roles to play to reduce and avert this trend.
The Nigerian experience has shown that buildings collapse have taken a lot of lives and properties hence, the need to stop the large increase in the number of buildings collapsing in the country. In the first quarter of 2012, there was a catastrophic collapse of parts of the Benin Central Hospital that led to loss of lives and injuries. There has been series of buildings collapse in Nigeria from North to South, East to West. These ugly incidences that have now become some reoccurring issues all over Nigeria have sent a lot of Nigerians to their early graves and have equally turned hundreds to disables and also made them homeless.
Housing is widely ranked among the most critical factors that determine the quality of life and welfare of people and societies. It is critical to meeting the social, cultural, economic and environmental needs of the people and influences the wellbeing, health and security of both the present and future generations. Housing is therefore central to the concept of sustainable development, given its complex web of relationship with the four factors of sustainability, namely social, economic, cultural and environmental. The question of housing is of paramount concern to governments across the globe. In Nigeria for instance, all successive governments since independence highlighted housing as a major priority. Unfortunately for over 54 years of its independence, Nigeria is still grabbling with housing crises. The ever mounting crisis in the housing sector of Nigeria has been in various dimensions, which range from absolute housing unit shortages, to the emergence and proliferation of the squatter settlements and slums, the rising cost of housing rent and the building collapse.
Whenever this ugly monster shows its face stakeholders always look for whom to blame, because this incidences of collapse buildings has continued to “embarrass” professionals and stakeholder alike in the construction industry. Most times, the largest proportion of the blame goes to the institutions that are responsible for the training of professionals in the building industry. No one is ready to accept the blame. Infact, they prefer shifting the blames on each other. There should be urgent need to set in motion a mechanism that would ensure that the incidences of collapse building is eradicated or reduced to best minimum.
Buildings are designed to satisfy the functional objectives of safety, serviceability and economy, and the whole process of building production is capital intensive and can only be appreciated by a professional Builder (Okereke, 2011). In a related development, Obiegbu (2012) stated that the construction process involves designing and implementing a building project from its conception to completion to correspond with the client’s desire. He further stated that the process consists of many stages, requiring the joint effort of many parties (professionals). The large number of participants is the result of the wide range of expertise needed.
However, it is the work of the architect, builder and the structural engineer to ensure that the structures will not be liable to collapse, Failure in design is often attributed to coincidence of factors rather than just a single cause, a greater attention is being placed on design errors or inadequacies, where a major factor may lead to the chain of events leading to collapse of the building. The cause of the above is obviously structural and is common in state and country, as a result of quacks that practice as structural engineers, builders and architects. These quacks often make errors in their assumptions regarding loading and flexural conditions, coupled with poor detailing and drafting, carelessness in treatment of constructions, improper location, inadequate attention to thermal and shrinkage effects; others are inadequate site investigation, improper planning and absence of professionals to give the technical input, improper selection of materials and lack of maintenance.
A look at most collapsed buildings, shown that often; it is the absence of building code and regulation leading to collapse, mostly due to structural issues. According to Parker Gay, Mac Guire (1958), negligence and ignorance constitute building collapse in Nigeria. Majority of owners of collapse buildings are illiterates who are ignorant of the existence of professionals in the building industry. Failure in building also occurs as a result of misuse of buildings e.g buildings of different structural designs serve different purpose; structural design for residential building is different from industrial building.
Despite the various efforts, the rate of building collapse to date has continued unabated. Government at all levels have not shown or displayed concern for the ugly occurrences. Most designs and plans are good but no monitoring and supervision. Most time, owners of buildings and other professionals want to cut corners however they can. How can good quality work be guaranteed when there is no sincerity on the part of those involved and professionals are not allowed to the jobs.
The cost of building collapse is enormous, ranging from loss of lives and property to waste of personal income and national economy (Sani-sidi 2013). The need to arrest this ugly situation in our nation should be expedient; in this regards, this paper will x-ray the causes of building collapse in Nigeria and identify the role the government in curbing it.
It is common to hear incidents of building failure/collapse in Edo states and major Nigerian cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Kaduna and Ibadan. According to Windapo and Rotimi, from a total of 91 cases of building failures/collapse in Nigeria between 1974-2010; 51.6% occurred in Lagos, 18.7% in the South Western states, 8.8% in Abuja—the Federal capital city, 6.5% in the South-South states, 5.5% in the South Eastern states, 4.4% in both the North Western and North Central states and 0% in the North Eastern states. They contended that these incidents are poor construction supervision related. Bamisile asserted that many public and privately owned buildings in Nigeria lack maintenance thus resulting in deplorable conditions of structural fabrics and ultimate structural collapse. Olorunoje noted that failure/collapse of building can be traced to the type of materials used and quality of workmanship. In Nigeria, it is generally believed that poor construction supervision, corruption, weak building legislation, poor structural design, faulty construction, use of low quality materials, hasty construction, shallow foundation and poor workmanship are the common causes of most building failures. A number of cases occur during and after the construction phase of the project.
The building collapse syndrome has taken a lot of lives and properties in the state and Nigeria as a whole due to:-
The under-listed objectives were set out in order to achieve the above aim:
This study on the role of government in eradicating building collapse in Edo state will carefully examine the causes and effects of building collapse in Edo state and major concentration will be on public buildings.
The following are the significance of this study:
1.7 STUDY AREA
FIGURE 1.1: MAP OF EDO STATE
Edo State was created on August 27, 1991. Edo State is one of the two states from the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria. Her sister state is Delta State. There are at present Eighteen (18) Local Government Areas in Edo State as shown in Table 1. Edo State lies approximately between Latitude 5o44’.N and 7o34’.N of the Equator and between Longitude 6o04’.E and 6o43’.E. It is bounded in the South by Delta State, in the West by Ondo State, in the North and North East by Kogi State and in the East by Anambra State (Segynola, 1993). Edo State covers an area of 19794 km2 and has a total population of 2,159,848. Consequently, she has a population density of 109 (based on the 1991 census figure). Her administrative headquarter, which is also the traditional headquarter, is Benin City.
The major relief regions in the State include; the swamps/creeks, the Esan Plateau, the Orle valley and the dissected uplands of Akoko-Edo Local Government area, which ranges from 183 meters to 305 meters above sea level. The soil type in the state is generally the reddish yellow kind of soil. This varies from area to area in the state. The vegetation also varies from the rain forest type in the Benin low lands to Savanna in the Akoko-Edo uplands (Segynola, 1993). The two distinct seasons, the wet and dry seasons, are caused by the rain bringing South West Moonsoon from the Atlantic Ocean and dry and dusty Harmattan (North-East trade) wind from the Sahara desert respectively. These wind types also impose seasonality upon agricultural production.
There are a lot of ethnic groups in the state and diverse socio-cultural heritages. According to Segynola (1993), over 100 festivals are celebrated annually in the state between March and September. Edo State is equally rich in arts and crafts ranging from woodcarvings and bronze casting to brass casting and pottery. Weaving is also a major craft peculiar to the peoples around the Northern part of the state. There are also diverse mineral resources, which include limestone, marble, crude oil, economic trees and granite among others. Social infrastructure such as amusement parks, hotels, tertiary institutions and recreational facilities are available in the state.
Edo State has a very rich tradition of festivals and masquerades through which the people either appease the various gods and goddesses initiate men and women into age-grades or as a traditional get-together.
The Igue festival takes pre-eminence among festivals celebrated in Edo State. It is celebrated every December each year by the Oba of Benin to usher in the New Year and as a thanksgiving for the outgoing one. The Igue festival attracts tourists from across Nigeria and abroad. Most of the festivals have a yearly cycle and are open to general viewing and sometimes, participation. Some others like the Obazu festival held among the Aomas of luleha in OwanWest Local Government Area is strictly restricted to the men folk.
Edo state has a well-distributed road network. The national road link between the state and other parts of the country has increased the traffic flow through the state, from the eastern parts of the country to the western parts, including Lagos. Also a number of roads between cities, towns, villages and settlements have stimulated frequent interactions. These roads have influenced cash and food production in the state, by facilitating the transportation of rural products to towns and cities. This is due to the fact that farmers are generally encouraged to produce more agricultural products, if they are sure of quick means of carrying them to the market (Ogundana, 1972)
The predominant transport mode of the people of the state, is road transport (Amana Consortium, 2005)
With Benin City as capital, the population of the entire state is approximately 4million. Edo State is made up of three major ethnic groups; namely the Binis, Esan and Afemai. However the state has a high presence of residents from across the country and the world because of its cosmopolitan tendencies. Benin City the capital has a history of being one of the foremost destinations of Europeans during their exploration of Africa continent many centuries ago. Some of the flash points have remained enviable tourists’ attraction for the state
TABLE 1.1: EDO STATE POPULATION CENSUS FOR FROM 1991- 2011
|Akoko-Edo||Local Government Area||123,686||261,567||299,370|
|Egor||Local Government Area||…||340,287||389,470|
|Esan Central||Local Government Area||…||105,242||120,450|
|Esan North East||Local Government Area||88,687||121,989||139,620|
|Esan South East||Local Government Area||83,643||166,309||190,350|
|Esan West||Local Government Area||89,628||127,718||146,180|
|Etsako Central||Local Government Area||…||94,228||107,850|
|Etsako East||Local Government Area||…||147,335||168,630|
|Etsako West||Local Government Area||126,112||198,975||227,730|
|Igueben||Local Government Area||…||70,276||80,430|
|Ikpoba-Okha||Local Government Area||…||372,080||425,860|
|Oredo||Local Government Area||…||374,515||428,650|
|Orhionmwon||Local Government Area||147,537||183,994||210,590|
|Ovia North East||Local Government Area||121,769||155,344||177,800|
|Ovia South West||Local Government Area||80,692||138,072||158,030|
|Owan East||Local Government Area||90,927||154,630||176,980|
|Owan West||Local Government Area||70,374||99,056||113,370|
|Uhunmwonde||Local Government Area||98,767||121,749||139,350|
Source: National Population Commission of Nigeria (web).
The 2011 population projection handles states individually but not LGAs.
TABLE 1.2: VARIOUS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN EDO STATE AND THEIR HEAD QUARTERS
S/N LOCAL GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTER
1 AKOKO EDO IGARRA
2 EGOR USELU
3 ESAN CENTRAL IRRUA
4 ESAN NORTH EAST UROMI
5 ESAN WEST EKPOMA
6 ESAN SOUTH EAST UBIAJA
7 ETSAKO CENTRAL FUGAR
8 ETSAKO EAST AGENEBOD
9 ETSAKO WEST AUCHI
10 ORHIOMWON ABUDU
11 OVIA NORTH EAST OKADA
12 OVIA SOUTH WEST IGUOBAZUWA
13 OWAN WEST SABONGIDA ORA
14 OWAN EAST AFUZE
15 UHUMWONDE EHOR
16 IGUEBEN IGUEBEN
17 IKPOBA OKHA IDOGBO
18 OREDO BENIN CITY
HOUSE TYPES IN EDO STATE
In primordial times, the Edo’s had a highly developed method of mud building that is both traditional and formal way of house-planning which they combined, to produce buildings of real architectural quality (Ekhaese & Amole, 2014). Benin City was the capital of a powerful Edo empire. The city was laid out on a formal pattern of broad streets running at right angles to each other along which the houses were built to a regular frontage (terrace), a rare feature in African houses. After the punitive expedition of 1897, major part of the city was destroyed by fire. Today in Benin metropolis the earliest house plans are still identifiable, while around the perimeter (i.e. the outline) of the great Benin wall, it can rarely be traced. Though the wall was originally double-palisade with thick tree trunks, with laid spars five or six feet long fastened together and plastered over with red clay, in front of it was a ditch and a hedge of thorns. It is now entirely ruined with most part so overgrown with bush such that the Benin wall is practically untraceable. In time, most of the buildings in African town are little more than mean shacks, subdivided over and again with a separate family occupying each compartment.
The house design started with materials like thatch, bamboo, mud (laterite) bricks for wall construction while roof construction began with thatch later bamboo, then raffia, corrugated iron roofs and so on. (Ufuah 2005). The presence of guilds system, helped the building style and pattern of Edo’s traditional courtyard house (which is a reflection of the Edo culture in spaces use, organization and meaning) to be handed-on from one generation to another (Ekhaese & Amole, 2014). The advantage of the house design includes; climate friendliness, safety, adequate storage, lighting and ventilation.
In time, it was necessary to design for the family and tenants, i.e. houses were built as means for earning income, thus activity sections in traditional courtyard houses were retain in the new designs. While evolution in houses morphology continued, yet some spaces, fixtures, meaning, use and even certain ways of organization remained unaffected. Consequently several factors were imagined to have been responsible for the evolution and this included technological, religious, educational, economic and social. But through a topological analysis of Edo house settings detects a shift in house typology aspired and developed by people during the last four centuries. Today compact concrete frame houses that encloses all spaces, activities and occupant in one built unit are been build (Ekhaese, 2011).
Accordingly, with growth, development, religion, education, social, economy and cultural influences in urban centers new ideas and tastes in design began to evolve giving rise to preferences in house types. And thus the evolution of house typologies in the state from traditional courtyard house types pre-dating any western contact in Africa, to long corridor house type (“face me I face you”), then to apartment house types and today to contemporary house types.
Building materials, Building collapse, building design, supervision, buildings, Edo state, building failure, builder, architect, engineers, surveyor, town planer, building maintenance, Foundation, local government, feasibility study, Soil mechanics, Client, National Building Code.
Building materials any material which is used for a construction purpose.
According to Iyagba as cited in Jambol (2012), a building collapses when its structural and components parts have failed, and are not only unserviceable but unable to adequately support intended loads and lacks stability due to excessive deformation.
Building design refers to the broadly based architectural, engineering and technical applications to the design of buildings.
Supervision is an act or instance of directing, managing, or overseeing a project.
A building is a structure with roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory.
Edo sate is an inland state in southern Nigeria. Its capital is Benin City.
Failure in building can be defined as a defective construction, integrated by other factors such as structural, functional, material and environmental resulting in a short fall in performance occurring at any time in the life of the product, element or dwelling in which it occurs.
A builder is an academically trained specialist, statutorily registered professional responsible for building projects, construction of buildings for the use of mankind.
Architects are persons who are trained in the art and science of building design and construction.
An engineer is a practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics, and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical, social and commercial problems.
Land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of determining terrestrial or three dimensional positions of points and the distances between them.
Town planners are responsible for the management and development of cities, towns, villages and the countryside.
Building maintenance refers to general repairs to buildings and preventive maintenance of systems and equipment.
A foundation is defined as that part of the structure that supports the weight of the structure and transmits the load to underlying soil or rock.
Local government is a form of public administration which, in a major of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state.
Feasibility studies preliminary studies in the very early stage of the project. They tend to carry out when the project is large or where there is doubt or controversy regarding the proposed development.
Is defined as the application of the laws and principles of mechanics and hydraulics to engineering problems dealing with soil as an engineering material.
The client refers to the individual or a corporate body e.g. Banks, Institutions, Governments (Federal, State, and Local), churches, etc., that wants to develop building.
Building codes are made to guide the manner of doing something (construction).