Tuesday, September 13, 2022

USA Africa Dialogue Series - The Humanists and Engineers: The crusade against building collapse: let this time be different

 Of   The humanists  and engineers:The crusade against building collapse:  Let this time be DIFFERENT.positively DIFFERENT.

 By Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth., London,England

We have been here before there is a disaster, a panel is set up, professionals make their presentation and then we all go to sleep until the disaster repeats itself.  This time must be different.  

The built environment can be made safer by humanists and social scientists.

 Building collapse in Nigeria might be more of a  Human Factors   and  social problem than an engineering or technical problem hence we have to involve those in the humanities and social sciences to bring this menace under control and to its logical end.

 We have to begin to accept that  ONE DEATH IS TOO MANY.so there should be zero tolerance for any act or activity that can lead to or fuel  building collapse   directly or indirectly.

.    I would like the experts or scholars in social problem solving,   or social  problem solving techniques  to help out here.

     There are four  ways of  looking at social issues.   ,   building on the work of  Taylor- Gobby and Dale(1981). These four are . INDIVIDUAL,,INSTITUTIONAL REFORMIST,STRUCTURAL, And  POST STRUCTURAL ACCOUNTS . But   most times we want to do the obvious like blaming the victim,  blame the rescuer or blame the system   my reading shows you could look at it on   a fourth level by blaming the discourse.

So I would want the  humanists and  social  scientists to analyze the presentation made by the president of the council for registered engineers  as to how to stop the incidence of building collapse in nigeria and give him the necessary  help where needed  as to what seems to be a human factor  and social problem , not necessarily an engineering problem.

Then from there the masses can make the necessary demands on their elected representatives.. The masses need to be educated  on the fact that democracy is more than the ballot box or presidential primaries. Democracy is 24/7/365 affair. Beyond social media, beyond email and text messages they should send snail mails to their representatives at the three levels of government to make necessary demands, the physical letter with a postage stamp might be even more effective than an electronic means which can easily be deleted or ignored.

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