The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has launched the Ghana Building Code which is a set of rules that specify required standards for constructions such as buildings and non-building structures.

The code has been handed over to 29 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Region.

It covers all aspects of building and construction; ranging from soil testing, quality of building materials, roofing, fire-fighting to accessibility for persons living with disability.

It also provides guidelines on where to build, the materials to use, states stipulations for constructing exits, lifts, among other structural factors to consider.

Presenting the code to the MMDAs at a sensitisation programme, the Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, urged the assemblies to enforce the code to ensure that permits for buildings are only issued when they pass the quality test.

He also suggested the application of the code to assess all existing buildings to ensure that they are fit for occupancy and those that fail the assessment should be asked to retrofit to bring them to standards.

Prof. Dodoo said the enforcement exercise must begin with public buildings, including; places of worship and state institutions.

The sensitisation workshop for the top officials of the 29 MMDAs was held on the theme: “Decentralising quality infrastructure to facilitate trade and protect consumers.”

It was designed to educate the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), Engineers and Technocrats on the building code and its implementation process.

Prof. Dodoo said the application of the standards in the code would guarantee public safety and create job opportunities along the value chain.

Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashitey, reiterated the call for strict enforcement of the building code to deal with the unplanned buildings, which he says exists as a result of weak regulatory and permission-granting regimes.

He hopes that the enforcement would help improve access to public places and enhance service delivery.