The Ghana Institute of Engineers says it is struggling to effectively regulate engineering practice in Ghana due to the haphazard registration of contractors.
This situation according to the institute thwarts their efforts in ensuring that contractors deliver projects according to set standards.
The construction industry in Ghana has in recent times been heavily criticized for the poor nature of roads and buildings.
Several high rise buildings have collapsed leading to the loss of lives and property.
The onset of the rainy season has rendered many road networks in the Accra Metropolis and other parts of the country in impassable due to the shoddy work done by contractors.
This has led to the debate over the manner in which contracts are awarded and the lack of supervision during major construction works.
The President of the Ghana Institute of Engineers, Magnus Lincoln Quarshie, in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday stated that his outfit has a data base for all professional engineers in good standing.
He disclosed that countless construction companies in Ghana undertake their operations without seeking the services of a qualified engineer therefore, “we are unable to call such persons to order when there are challenges.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”X65Fgt6VrfwPgVI0rtEripsxO1SPMHn3″]He accused the Ministry of Roads and Transport of registering construction companies which do not have a certified engineer registered with the Ghana Institute of Engineers.
He alleged that “there are a lot of construction firms that have been registered but if you really go down, they don’t have any professional engineers they work with.”
“That is the weakness in the system,” he lamented but Ing. Quarshie was hopeful that with the inauguration of the board for the Institute, the industry will finally be regulated.
He added that the inauguration of the board will “allow us to establish a good system and a continuum where we are able to undertake a continuous development for all craftsmen…”
Ing. Quarshie remarked that the situation where unqualified personnel are employed to undertake construction works dangers the lives of citizens and causes the state to lose revenue.
According to him, “the allegation is that a lot of construction companies don’t even employ engineers but however, we have serious cash flow problems for contractors. Some contractors are owed for about three years now…and this affects the quality of work.”
The Ghana Institute of Engineers’ president explained that about seven types of engineers are needed to undertake a road construction.
A Geotechnical Engineer who uses principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface conditions and materials, assess risks posed by site conditions, earthwork and foundation construction.
A Traffic Engineer is needed to do a traffic study based on which he will determine the amount of loading or weight that the road is expected to receive.
Then a Material Engineer who will determine the kinds of pavement that must be constructed.
Bitumen Technical Specialists will then oversee the proper handling of bitumen during construction.
A Drainage Engineer and Structural Engineers will then ensure that the drainage structures have been designed appropriately depending on the weight expected.
Ing. Quarshie noted because all these specialists are not employed to work on a road construction in Ghana, the lifespand of road networks do not last.
He mentioned that checking the quality of roads “lie at the door step of the Ministry of Roads and Highways.”
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana