Dr. McIntyre warned about taking shortcuts in the rebuilding process

Minister for Planning Dr. Colin McIntyre has told 296 newly trained contractors and builders that they should not repeat the mistakes their predecessors made in the past.

The builders and contractors completed a series of workshops geared at ensuring that the proper building practices are utilized in the rebuilding process after Hurricane Maria.

The workshop took place in 11 sessions in the areas of Roseau, Portsmouth, Marigot, La Plaine, Paix Bouche, Kalinago Territory and Roseau Valley.

The initiative was done by the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Housing in collaboration with the UNDP and Engineers Without Borders.

At a ceremony for the presentation of certificates to the contractors on Tuesday, Dr. McIntyre warned about taking shortcuts in the rebuilding process.

“It must be done properly,” he stated. “Some of the predecessors before your time, the contractors and engineers who built these roofs, there were probably one or two little shortcuts … when Hurricane Maria struck us it turned everything into a mess for us … you are now trained according to the building standards and codes we have here to really make a difference in Dominica.”

He pointed out that it would be disappointing that upon the repairs of homes after Maria, in the event of another natural disaster these contractors’ work will be demolished.

He said although jobs of excellent quality can be destroyed by the effects of a category 5 hurricane, the contractors should build more resilient infrastructure.

Dr. McIntyre urged the contractors to refer the building codes and standards once confronted with a challenge on the field.

“Follow your little manual that we are going to deliver to you here today, just to refresh yourself,” he noted. “Some things become routine, you know how to put in a nail, you know how to put in a rafter, how to place it on your ridge beam, you may know how to do that but anytime you confront a challenge, don’t be afraid to consult your codes.”

He also said the contractors should refrain from presenting their clients with mediocre work, saying he has received complaints from clients who have expressed their dissatisfactions with the work of contractors.

“People suffered during Maria and do not take them for a ride, be honest with them, give them a good job and not because they depend on you right now and because you are in short supply and high demand you should come out there and give them a run for their money,” he said. “The government is committed to providing all the training that is necessary, all what is required to build this country and build it into the first climate resilient island.”

The training courses were held under the theme: “Guide to the Dominica Housing Standards.”

Some of the builders and contractors at the ceremony