Building a stronger Barbuda

Stronger building techniques are being used in Barbuda by relief organisations to ensure the island becomes more resilient to hurricanes and earthquakes. United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Recovery Advisor, Aurelie Boukobza, recently explained that the goal of the international organisation in the current rebuilding of Barbuda is to protect the island from being as badly damaged by another hurricane as it was by Hurricane Irma.

“We do a lot of oversight and quality control. We check Antigua and Barbuda’s building regulations and work closely with the Development Control Authority. We did some training with them to ensure the techniques being used are allowing for the highest standard of quality,” Boukobza explained.

The UNDP official added that extensive assessment of the structures on the island was done in November and there is a detailed database that shows the organisation the level of damage of each building. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a team of technicians and construction experts on the island.

A quantity surveyor is among some of the professionals helping in Barbuda’s restructuring process. According to Boukobza, “The whole purpose of the project is to build back better. The contractors are told what they want to do is actually better than what used to be there before and what enhancements can be made to make sure that all the roofs we’re contributing to repairing are hurricane resistant.”

The UNDP will be bringing in a lot of material, a donation from the Chinese government worth U.S. $2 million. On Friday, the UNDP hopes to meet with the prime minister and the chinese ambassador to launch the relief project, aiming to put roofs on 200 houses in Barbuda.

Director of Operations for the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Major Alando Michael says using screws instead of nails to secure galvanize, hurricane clips and standardised structures are some of the ways the organisations are building stronger framework in Barbuda.

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