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Last Tuesday morning around Summit Pepsi Industrial area in Bole Sub City, a three story building, which had been under construction for ten months, collapsed. This is the second time a building has collapsed in the same area while being constructed. No reason has been given for the building’s demise and the value of the loss is not known as the incident is still under police investigation.
Experts that Capital interviewed expressed concern that mishaps like this could harm the housing industry. Quality standards and regulations have to be upheld by government offices and the sub city administration. This is even more vital in light of the current construction boom, they said.
“Construction permits are approved by the government only after quality assurance is verified by the contractor, owner and consultant and then the process is closely followed by civil servants in the profession and in addition the project must undergo a soil test,” experts said.
They expressed concern that there are unscrupulous relationships between building owners and bureaucrats which can lead to bribes and then unsafe building construction. The owners come out unscathed but the nation’s economy and people residing in the building are hurt.
Abera Bekele (Eng), president of Ethiopian Construction Contractors Association, told Capital that lack of evaluation in the early design stage is another problem.
He agreed that the interference of clients or owners of the building is the other major challenge.
The ground floor of the building which collapsed earlier, in April 2016, had been leased by the Bank of Abyssinia and Dashen Bank, who had been working there for a few months, according to residents of the area.
Immediately after the incident, the Commercial Bank Ethiopia gathered its cash and employees were advised to evacuate the building, owned by the same proprietor and built to similar specifications of the collapsed structureg