President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for an integrity audit of all public buildings. He has also urged the Ghana Geological Survey Authority to give government advice on its logistical needs and equipment. The President made the call in Accra on Thursday when he opened a stakeholder conference on Ghana’s earthquake preparedness and response. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of the Interior on the theme: “Building Resilience to Earthquakes – A National Priority” It is to deliberate on the Report of a ten-member Committee set up in 2019 by the Interior Ministry to draw a framework for refocusing the country’s quake preparedness, response, and education campaign.
The president assured the conference of the government’s commitment to ensuring that the entire citizenry was protected from the effects of earthquakes and other disasters. “Knowing what to do in the event of an earthquake is crucial to survival. It is important that all Ghanaians know what toDo to remain safe and alive,” he said.
The scheme would also compel prospective homeowners to build in accordance with defined standards. Accra, Tema, Ho, Cape Coast, Takoradi, as well as important installations in the south of Ghana lie within areas exposed to earthquakes.
Earthquakes hazards in Ghana are generally determined by three main sources, the coastal boundary fault, the Akuapim fault zone, and the Ivory Coast fault. The report also calls for the retrofitting of existing structures vulnerable to natural disasters to ensure that they are not unduly damaged. It calls for an update of the Ghana Building Code to include requirements for retrofitting infrastructure. It identifies and outlines the key measures that must be undertaken by relevant agencies to prepare communities for seismic risk and evaluate the capacities of relevant bodies.
Secondary effects like fires, flooding from broken pipes and dams, tsunamis, landslides/rockfalls, and liquefaction are all possible from strong ground shaking in the country. Stakeholders at the conference include the NADMO, National Security, the GGSA, the Land Use, and Spatial Planning Authority.