US State Secretary, Egypt FM discuss bloodshed in Gaza, stress strategic partnership    Egypt's Al-Sisi in Paris for Sudan Transition Conference    Sundance Institute names 20 fellows across upcoming summer labs    Grand Egyptian Museum opening to be as impressive as Royal Mummies Parade: El-Anani    Egypt to soon complete COVID-19 vaccination of tourism workers in Red Sea, South Sinai    EGP 308.3bn allocated to Egypt economic authorities to support services, development projects    Chief of Egypt's Financial Regulator elected as committee head at IOSCO    Washington calls for resumption of GERD talks    Egypt, Saudi Arabia aim to restore calm in Palestinian territories    Comedy actress Nadia Al-Iraqia passes away from COVID-19    Egypt's Health Ministry launches awareness campaigns against COVID-19    Sudan pledges to investigate killing of 2 protestors during peaceful sit-in    Egypt scales up readiness of hospitals nationwide for Eid Al-Fitr holidays    Egyptian hospitals in Sinai on alert amid Israeli aggression on Gaza    Egypt announces Thursday 1st day of Eid Al-Fitr    Nuweiba: Egypt's paradise of serenity    Egypt's trade deficit down 1.2% to $3.34bn in February 2021: CAPMAS    Global economic recovery to improve debt service coverage ratios: Moody's    Egypt's current account deficit jumps to $7.6 bln in 1H of FY2020/21: CBE    India signs an agreement to buy 300,000 doses of Remdesivir from Eva Pharma    Egypt will locally manufacture first 2m Sinovac vaccine doses by June-end    Turkey seeks to restore 'historic unity' with Egyptian people: Erdogan    Elneny's Arsenal targets 'remontada' in Europa League semi-finals    Zamalek eye return to victories at expense of Smouha in Egyptian Premier League    Al Ahly face injuries as they take on Al Ittihad Alexandria    Egypt buys 30 Rafale fighter jets from France    Direct flights between Russia and Egypt will resume in June, Ambassador    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Blinken presses Ethiopia's Abiy to ensure full withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray    Forces opposed to Somali president control parts of Mogadishu    Nine people executed in Egypt over Kerdasa police killings in 2013    UEFA investigating Ibrahimovic's alleged ties to betting company    61 doctors died from coronavirus since start of April: Egypt's medical syndicate    Egypt targets 5.6% inflation rate in FY2020/21, 6% in FY2021/22    Egypt allocates EGP 132 bln to modernise railway system: Transport minister    Real Madrid not thinking about any Super League sanctions: Zidane    Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after attacks    All the winners at the 93rd Academy Awards    Egypt's Ahly granted approval to build new stadium on Cairo outskirts    Aswan Int'l Women's Film Festival dedicates 5th edition to Kawthar Heikal    BREAKING: Egypt's information minister Osama Heikal resigns amid parliamentary criticism    'War was not Egypt's aim, but peace was the ultimate goal,' Sisi says on Sinai Liberation Day anniversary    Factbox: Key nominations for the 2021 Academy Awards    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Amid the rubble
Published in Ahram Online on 30 - 03 - 2021

Twenty-five people were killed and around 25 injured when a 10-storey building collapsed in the East Cairo Gesr Al-Suez district. The structure, believed to be the oldest in the area, collapsed early morning on Saturday 27 March while residents were sleeping.
According to the Spokesman for the Minister of Health and Population Khaled Megahed, 18 residents were discharged from hospital after receiving the required medical treatment.
Various factors appear to have contributed to the fall. The building carried four floors beyond the number permitted by its building licence. The building was originally used as a storage for frozen food, which caused the walls to dampen. There were also modifications to convert the first two floors into a clothes factory. That caused the building to tilt, prompting some residents to evacuate two days earlier.
According to Mohamed Abdel-Hadi, head of Al-Salam district, the building was just one example of many which are violating building codes in Cairo. There are currently more than 300 buildings which contravene building codes, at least 8,000 of which are in danger of collapsing and more than 15,000 infringe construction regulations.
Abdel-Hadi pointed out that past efforts to tear the buildings down have been met with fierce opposition from residents and owners. "The families refuse to leave their homes out of fear of becoming homeless although the governorate can provide them with alternative housing. Although the Cairo governorate has offered alternative houses for the eight families of the building that collapsed, they still refuse to leave," Abdel-Hadi said.
Many buildings which collapse in Egypt are either built with poor materials or are not in accordance with construction regulations, stated Abdel-Hadi, many times leading to devastating consequences.
Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal formed an engineering committee to examine the properties adjacent to the building in Gesr Al-Suez to ascertain whether they were affected by the collapse. "The committee noted several modifications to the building's basement which resulted in its collapse," said Abdel-Aal in a press release. The owner of the building is currently being questioned by the general prosecution. He was previously notified about the building's violations but took no measures to correct them.
Egypt saw a significant rise in illegal construction after the security vacuum that followed the 2011 uprising, with many people constructing multi-storey buildings without acquiring the necessary permits or complying with engineering safety standards. Constructors who seek more profit frequently violate building permits by adding extra floors.
The government recently launched a crackdown on illegal building across the country, jailing violators and in many cases demolishing the buildings.
It has also asked citizens to reconcile over building violations. Reconciliation requests are accepted when safety standards in a building are met. The government has received over two million reconciliation requests over the past seven months and collected more than LE16 billion as reconciliation fees.
Abdel-Hadi revealed that there are 700,000 building violations, with only 10 per cent of their perpetrators having sought a solution with the government. "More than 10,000 buildings have been demolished throughout the past months," he added.
A 15-storey building was demolished near the Ring Road in the Giza governorate in early February after it was weakened by a 12-day fire. The fire had started in a shoe factory on the first two floors of the building which had been built without a licence in 2013.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 1 April, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.