A scene in Dominica after Hurricane Maria

Roseau, Dominica, December 13, 2017– The OECS/GCCA iLAND Resilience Project is presenting Dominica with recommendations for provisions to be included in the building code.

The recommendations form part of an ongoing region-wide building code consultation, in an effort to encourage people in the construction industry to understand and adhere to the necessary building regulations.

Consultant Engineer to the iLAND Resilience Project, Alison King-Joseph, is also asking property owners to ensure that their builders comply with the building regulations, to ensure the safety of themselves and properties.

Consultant Engineer to the iLAND Resilience Project, Alison King-Joseph

“The first thing you do when you want to develop a piece of land for building is understanding what are the vulnerabilities of that site and whether it is appropriate for building or not. If it is you also need to know what are the requirements to build on that property, to withstand the hazards that it may be exposed to. We are building an awareness for persons who want to develop, so that they can good guidance on the vulnerabilities of the locations where they are building and that they are building suited to purpose,” Joseph explains

Just over two months ago Dominica was devastated by a category five Hurricane Maria. To this day, the island is still trying to recover and literally pick up the pieces. Building owners will soon be recouping insurance funds and hopefully, begin to rebuild.

However, officials state, that the island does not have enough resources to monitor the building activities.

The Chief Physical Planner of Dominica, Kelvin Rolle, is appealing to builders and property owners, to ensure that the building code is followed and necessary quality checks are conducted.

Chief Physical Planner, Kelvin Rolle

He is asking that special attention be given to the construction of roofs.

“We also have to pay special to where people build in River Valleys. There are a number of homes and small villages located in the river valleys and these valleys received tremendous destruction. Nearly the entire watershed and trees came down. It was massive destruction in these communities and villages,” recalls Rolle

Rolle informs that residents close to rivers may have to be relocated because of effects from adverse weather conditions.

He says that the river valleys should not be abandoned but protected through climate change resilience interventions.

The Chief Physical Planner is, therefore, suggesting that new development plans be created for areas that were totally destroyed during this Hurricane season.