Wednesday 18 September, 2019

Mottley: Bajans must change how they build; keep surroundings clean

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Barbadians are being warned not to compromise safety for beauty when building homes and offices.

Suggesting that in an effort to make their homes more aesthetically pleasing many Barbadians are forgetting practicality in their construction, was Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

This came after her return to Barbados on Thursday following a fact-finding mission to the Bahamas, where the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco were decimated following the passage of Hurricane Dorian.

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She said the old houses on the islands, some of which were on stilts, fared much better than others that were built simply to compliment the beauty of their surroundings. The Prime Minister told reporters during a post-cabinet media briefing that Minister of Housing, George Payne had been instructed by the Cabinet to issue Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to the public for designs for resilient, affordable housing solutions.

He will hold a series of town hall meetings with architects and engineers on the island in the coming days.

"[This] will allow the government to start the process of reforming construction best practices. When we want to start to look pretty and we are doing everything without reference to the risk and functionality, to ventilation, to protection and resilience, we are going to run into problems,” the Prime Minister said.

Mottley again underscored the necessity of a National Clean-Up, explaining that when a Tropical Storm Watch was issued two weekends ago for Barbados when Dorian was in its infancy, the government had fast-tracked some of the work which the Ministry of Transport Works and Maintenance was already doing.

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