Incessant Collapse of Buildings in Nigeria: The Implications for Religious/ Worship Centres (Published)
Building collapse is more common and devastating in developing world. In Nigeria, the trend is on the increase and religious houses/buildings are not left out. Buildings can be described as structural entities capable of securing self by transmitting load (dead load and live load) to the ground. A church building or religious buildings however are sacred places where believers interface with God. Paradoxically, church/religious buildings and pilgrimage sites are also now becoming places where people lose their lives as a result of accident and structural collapse. A building collapse occurs when part or whole body of a structure fails and suddenly gives way, the structure as a result of this failure, could not meet the purpose for which it was meant for. Assembly buildings (Religious buildings) account for 12.7% of building collapse in Nigeria. Most church building collapse are not often reported or recorded, except where the casualties is much and cannot be hidden from the government agencies. The Synagogue Church Building and Reigners Bible Church building collapse are recent incidents in Nigeria. The aim of this paper is to review the causes of building collapse and suggest ways of prevention as it concerns religious buildings.
Geotechnical studies were carried out to investigate the foundation conditions in Igbogene, Etelebou in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The evaluation was carried out by means of three (3) number boreholes to a maximum depth of 30m below the existing ground level using a using the cable percussive rig. Field and laboratory investigations reveal a near surface stratigraphy of clay to an average depth of 6m underlain by loose silty sand to a depth of 10m below the existing ground level. Underlying this clay layer, the formation presents a stratum of sand which extends to the maximum depth of investigation. Field and laboratory analysis carried out on relatively undisturbed soil samples of the silty clay showed the undrained shear strength of this near surface soil to lie between 40 and 56 kPa with a mean value of 47kPa. However, the 1.0m thick peat embedded between 3.0m and 4.0m will great increase the compressibility of this clay. Pile foundation is recommended, considering the anticipated load and the very high compressibility of peat under imposed load. Piles should be straight-shaft, closed-ended steel pipe piles and driven into the medium dense sand. Pile load test should be carried out on all piles to confirm working load and estimated settlements.