Difficult To Get Done – LIA Leadership Calls for Lawful Status

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By: Anthony Q. Jiffan, Jr.

The Leadership of Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) says getting their status as an has been difficult , calling on the government of Liberia through the National Legislature to enact into law a draft bill presented  to  law create the LIA as umbrella organization for all professional architects in the country.

The institute’s President, Mr.  Sylvanus O’Connor said the institution has summited a bill to the National Legislature since 2014, but nothing has been to meet the ultimate objective of the group thereby leaving them in a struggling situation.

He said when the LIA Act is passed into law; it will enable the leadership to set guidelines and provide oversight for every architect in the country; it will also help to improve city development and encouraged standard structures within city limit.

Speaking in an interview with reporters at the weekend in Monrovia, Mr. O’Connor said, “We have started making effort for the passage of our draft act, but it seems just difficult for the Legislature to address our plight.”

According to him, architects play a major road in helping city planners and city government to properly delineate between land uses and uses within given area. He added that architects  also help to create an appropriate land used, land used regulation and land used zoning map to aid city governments and its officials to locate commercial, entertainment, religious, academic as well as government functional facilities.

Mr. O’Connor said the rebranding of the institution from Liberia Chambers of Architects (LCA) as it was called in the 1960s to the Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) in 2014 was intended to connect to the larger world of architects across the globe.

He furthered that the Liberia Institute of Architects is tie into other architectural bodies across the world which served as regulatory body for architects in their respective countries with proper legislations, but Liberia remains the only country in the West African region that has not legislated their organization.

The LIA president noted that they are in the process of charting a course that will make the group more effective, and position them to engage lawmakers to enact into law the institution.

Also speaking, LIA secretary general Elijah Karnley said it has been very though to have their Act pushed a National Legislature, adding that the legislation of the LIA is envisioned to create guidelines for the lives and safety of Liberians for a better city development.

Mr. Karnley said “Most of our legislators today don’t understand need to do so; four years ago the guys we talked to are not the ones there now. Our document is somewhere lying down and nothing can be done about it”.

According to secretary Karnley, there are lots of substandard structures in the city and are breaking down on a daily basis putting the lives of Liberians at risk. He wondered “How can it be addressed, not that there is no architect to provide quality service, but no regulation in place to do so”.

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