The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GSSA) has voiced its support for the Bank of Ghana‘s decision to construct a new headquarters at a different location, citing earthquake concerns at the current site.
According to the GSSA, the current area occupied by the Bank of Ghana is vulnerable to earthquakes, with recent seismic activity occurring near the bank's enclave.
Isaac Mwinbelle, Acting Director-General of the GSSA, explained in an interview with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), “The latest one [earthquake], which was the 10th of March this year, if you look at the epicentre, it was close to Jamestown, meaning that it's moving towards the current location of the Bank of Ghana.”
Mwinbelle highlighted the presence of fault zones in the area, emphasizing that although significant tremors hadn't occurred yet, the potential risk remained.
He commended the bank's proactive approach to assessing the suitability of its current location, stating that safety should be a priority.
The Bank of Ghana justified the need for a new headquarters, explaining that its existing facility, built in the 1960s, no longer met safety requirements. The move came after opposition allegations that the bank planned to construct a new headquarters at a cost of $250 million.
To address concerns, the bank conducted a structural integrity assessment of its current office, revealing it didn't possess the necessary strength to ensure safety under extreme conditions like strong winds.
The GSSA expressed agreement with the bank's explanation and praised the new site selection. Mwinbelle stated, “So, in terms of lateral displacement, the current location, Ridge location might be much safer when it comes to earth tremors…” He added that the new location is safer and stressed the importance of swift action to prevent potential devastation.
Mwinbelle noted that the GGSA Act mandates site investigations to assess active fault lines before construction. He highlighted the bank's consideration of these factors for the new site, ensuring reinforced construction to withstand potential earthquakes.