Geological Survey defends relocation of BoG head office 

The Acting Director General of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA), Isaac Mwinbelle, has justified the relocation of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) new Head Office due to earthquake security.

“…Ridge location is much safer when it comes to earth tremors, because the closer the structure to the epicenter, the more the devastating that it will cause as compared to when it’s further away from the epicenter”

He made this known in an interview with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Last Friday.

According Mr. Mwinbelle, the move by the BoG was in the right direction, as the Bank must ensure structural safety for that of the staff and resources, adding that the new location of the headquarters building is better off because it is much further away from offshore.

“Bank of Ghana is being proactive by doing an assessment to find out whether the current location is suitable for a Central Bank or not, I think it is a plus for them because they must ensure the safety of the bank, the safety of the staff, as well as the safety of whatever is contained in there,” he stated.

He revealed that the coastal part of Ghana, most basically the eastern part, which is Accra, is an earthquake prone zone and this earthquake occur as a result of fault lines.

“The coastal parts of Ghana has a number of fault lines that passes through the area, but the prominent ones which have for the period produce some substantial earth tremors and earthquakes are the fault lines that are within the Kokrobite, Weija and Dansoman area and most of the earthquakes that have occurred over the period is as a result of the movement along these fault line,” he added.

He emphasised that there are fault zones in these areas, but they have not produced any substantial Earth tremor, but it doesn’t mean that there cannot be an earth tremor along those fault lines, and for that matter.

He told GBC News that although the current location of the Bank of Ghana has not experienced any earth tremor yet, the recent tremor occurred in Jamestown, which is closer to the Bank’s location.

It is in this regard that he disclosed that Ridge is much further away from the coastline which is from the offshore than the current location, which is the High Street area.

He said, given the structural integrity assessment by the Central Bank, the new headquarters building at Ridge, will be constructed to withstand any earth tremors and well fortified.

Also, he noted that the closer the structure to  the epicenter, the more the devastating that it will cause as compared to when it’s further away from the epicenter, they may likely experience much lower devastation on the structure.

Regarding a question of whether a building can be built to withstand any form of natural disaster, Mr. Mwinbelle stated that it is the reason why it is important to look at the GGSA Act, which requires them (GGSA) to conduct site or ground investigation to see if this area has active fault lines or fault lines that could affect the structural integrity of the building.

“For that matter, for the old structure that was there, I am unable to tell whether such ground investigation or site investigation was properly conducted prior to the construction of that particular building,” he said.

But for the new site, he said because of the recent things, all these ones have been factored in by the risk department of the Bank, “I’m sure if constructed, it might serve as a better purpose and it will be constructed with reinforcement which should be able to withstand any as tremors or earthquakes that may occur because they would have factored in the ground acceleration and therefore, it should be much more safer,” he concluded.


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