Houses crack after blast in Opuwo

12 Sep 2013 01:30
OPUWO, 12 SEP (NAMPA) – A woman whose house cracked after a controlled blast in the Otuzemba township of Opuwo in May this year, is not satisfied with repair work done on her house.
The dynamite blast was made in order to remove hard rocks to make way for the laying of water and sewerage pipes.
The house is situated on Erf 276, and is about two metres away from where the blast occurred.
Owner Teresa Varges told Nampa on Thursday that the company which set off the explosion was supposed to demolish her house and rebuild it afresh because the foundation, floor and walls have all been cracked.
“My life and those of my children are at risk living in this house with cracked walls, which could collapse at any time, and more so when we receive rain,” she explained.
Varges said she received a letter from Knight Piesold Consulting, the engineering consultants who were responsible for the blast, saying their inspection of the house after the blast showed several cracked walls and a broken window pane.
The letter dated 30 July 2013 from engineer Elvin Pesch stated that the house was built with different materials, especially on the corners.
“There is also a different strength cement/sand mix evident due to the different colours of the mix used to lay the bricks. This also indicates different times at which the bricks were placed,” he said in the letter.
Pesch indicated that all those factors contributed to cracking over time, which may have been aggravated or accelerated by the shockwave created by the blasting.
“It is doubted that the house was built and strengthened as required by the building regulations, which may have prevented the cracking. It is regretted that the house has suffered damage due to the blasting or normal expansion and contraction of the different materials that are not properly bonded as required,” he continued.
The company then had the cracks sealed with cement.
However, while the Likoze Investment company, which was hired by Knight Piesold Consulting to fill the cracks was busy with the job, Varges stopped them because she felt it was not the right solution for the problem.
Another victim of the blast, Tjitengeni Kamanja, whose house walls also cracked from the blast, told this agency that employees of the blasting company came and took pictures of the cracks on the walls and on the floor of his house, but they have not come back to him with any solution yet.