McKenzie said the event will be an educational one

The Dominica Business Forum is organizing and will be hosting a symposium on housing and construction in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

One of the organizers of the event, Savarin McKenzie, said the event is being held to educate Dominicans.

“We are in an emergency situation, we are in a crisis situation,” he said on Kairi FM’s housing program ‘Making the Right Connections.’ “People have their roofs to rebuild, people want information on building material, people want information from the insurance companies, people want information from the banks. They want information from the electricity company, they want information from the telephone companies, they want information from the planning division on how best to build, they want information on what is going to happen to us come June 2018 when the hurricane season is upon us …so we do not have the luxury of time to take three months to plan for that.”

He added, “it is an initiative aimed at educating the Dominican people and we believe that it is going to be more effective¬† that way than any other thing.”

The two-day event will be held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on January 24 and 25.

McKenzie explained that on the day one, they are planning to have a presentation by the government on the new climate execution agency announced recently and the government’s plan to make Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world.

“Then we are going to have a panel discussion on housing systems with our engineers, architects and constructors,” he stated. “And we are looking at the implementation of the building code with another presentation, maybe from the Ministry of Planning.”

He noted that the supply chain of building material and the lack of such material will also be looked at.

“And then we are ending day one with the international contribution to housing and the challenges that we are facing,” he said.

McKenzie said on day two, banking, mortgages and insurance will be discussed.

“People are being compensated, some people are not satisfied with the compensation that they got because they were underinsured, so we have the insurance companies coming in,” he stated, adding that there will be a discussion “on the different things of insurance.”

“And then we are going to have a panel discussion on the vulnerability of communities,” he stated.

McKenzie said so far the response to the event has been “very good.”

The symposium will be held under the theme “Practical and sustainable solutions to the changes of Maria – the private sector response.”