Several squatters and staff of the Pantang hospital have no choice but to occupy uncompleted and dilapidated buildings to the detriment of their lives.
The structures have been declared unsafe after a structural integrity test by the Ministry of Health in 2021.
The structure was originally built to house staff of the hospital, but nursing students and other residents of the community have turned the dilapidated and worn-out structure into their home against warnings by the hospital management for them to vacate the building.
A visit to Pantang on March 16, 2023, showed that the structure was being used despite its terrible state.
There were various forms of cracks and leakages, the iron rods were exposed and rusted, and wires were also exposed.
All the stairs connecting the ground floor to the other floors were in total ruin. One of the stairs in the Okonkwo Building had been constructed with wood which was rotten and the structure crooked yet occupants of the building still used it unconcerned.
When asked whether or not he came to live in the building of his own free will, Delali Tomegah an environmental officer with the Pantang hospital said he was given the accommodation by the hospital.
“The walling of the hospital affected my accommodation, so the hospital authorities asked me to move into the building.”
He said he has been living in the building for 2 years and does not believe the structure is weak.
“The building is very strong, but if you look at it, you would think it isn’t. It only looks old, a bit of rehabilitation will make it brand new.”
A resident – name withheld – said, although she’s scared that the building may collapse she has no choice.
“I am scared the building may collapse on us one day, but we have nowhere to go”.
Doris Attiogbe, a mother of two described the dangerous conditions under which she lived to Citi News
“The building soaks the water anytime it rains, I don’t know about the other tenants though. Recently the cement component along the stairs has also started falling off.”
She added that after 5 years of living in the building and countless warnings to evacuate she is now ready to move.