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LIA seeks legitimacy

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The leadership of the Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) is calling on 54th National Legislature to enact its draft Act into law, creating the LIA as an umbrella organization for all professional architects in the country.

LIA President Sylvanus O’Connor says the institution had submitted an act before the Legislature since 2014, but nothing has been done by that body in addressing its ultimate objective thereby, leaving its members struggling.

He says when passed into law; the Act will enable the leadership to set guidelines and provide oversight for every architect in the country as well as help with city planning and development, including erection of standardized structures.

Mr. O’Connor explains that as an Association they have started making effort in having the draft act passed, but it seems just difficult.
He emphasizes that architects play a major road in helping city planners and city government to properly delineate between land usage and authorizing usage within given area.

He adds that LIA helps creating an appropriate land used, land used regulation and land used zooming map to aid city government and its officials to locate commercial, entertainment, religious, academic and government functionaries.

Mr. O’Connor says 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 a larger world of architects across the globe.

He reveals the Liberia Institute of Architects is in connection with other architectural bodies across the world, serving as regulatory bodies for architects in their respective countries with proper legislations, but Liberia remains the only country in West Africa that has not legislated such organization.

He continues that they are in the process of charting a course that will make the group effective and position its members in a way that they can speak with one voice.

LIA secretary general Elijah Karnley also laments it has been very tough to have the act passed by the national legislature, adding that legislation of the LIA is envisioned to create guidelines for a better city development to ensure the safety of Liberians.

“Most of our legislators today, who don’t understand need to do so, four years ago the guys we talked to are not the ones there now, and our document is there and nothing can be done.”

He notes there are lots of substandard structures in the city due to improper monitoring, are breaking down daily, putting lives at risk.

By Bridgett Milton

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