Ruins of collapsed buildings in Rawd El Farag, Cairo, December 12, 2017 – Abdel Rahman El Sayed
CAIRO – 3 January 2018: Recent collapsing buildings highlight the longtime problem of the construction business across Egypt due to poor maintenance, violations of building codes, and illegal extensions and constructions. 2017 witnessed several collapses of buildings, killing 15 people and injured 55 others.
The latest tragedy happened because of construction violations of three residential buildings in the central Cairo district of Rod al-Farag in December. The initial collapse of one of the buildings resulted in the crumbling of the two adjacent buildings due to poor infrastructure, leaving two people dead, including a four-year-old girl, and another seven injured.
One of the recent incidents is the collapse of a three-story building in Qena governorate on December 17, resulting in the deaths of two women and injuring another, in addition to causing damage to neighboring buildings, which were evacuated.
In another two incidents in March, caused by illegal extensions, two buildings collapsed in Cairo’s Boulaq district, leaving at least five injured. Also, a building fell in Cairo’s Garden City district, where ten people were injured.
Fourteen people were injured and a five-month-old infant died after a building collapsed east of Sohag on August 8.
To combat this phenomenon, the Egyptian Parliament has discussed the unified construction law No. 119 during a meeting held on July 18, 2016 to submit amendments to the law. The law is aimed at those who violate the license and build illegal constructions by imposing fines, prison sentences or higher utilities tariffs.
Besides the illegal constructions, Egypt is plagued by unplanned construction and poor infrastructure. There are 400 areas of unplanned housing, with a population in excess of 7 million.
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