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Twenty-two houses will be donated to families in Barbuda whose properties were destroyed during the passage of hurricane Irma 10 months ago.
Information about the donation came from government’s Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst.
He said the homes will be hurricane and earthquake-resistant and are to be donated by The Prince’s Foundation which is headed by Prince Charles of Wales.
“They are going to be built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes, winds up to 185 mph, and they will also be earthquake resistant. They are going to be prefab so you put them together, but they are durable and are very handsome. They are going to look very much like houses in Barbuda, if not even better,” Hurst said.
He added that each house will have the foundation, cistern and septic tank built on the site then the prefab houses will then be assembled. The homeowner will be taught how to assemble them and will be charged to teach other house owners how to do so as well.
This donation comes as a result of Prince Charles’ visit to the twin-island state following the hurricane last year. According to Hurst, having seen the desolation of Barbuda first-hand, the Prince wanted to do something good for Antigua and Barbuda. However, he said that given the foundation’s limited capabilities, it could only build 22 homes.
Wade Burton, Chairman of the Barbuda Council said that the council met with representatives of the Prince’s Foundation on Wednesday in Barbuda to discuss the details of the project. He also expressed his gratitude for the gesture.
“We welcome it, it is a good offer by the Prince’s Foundation. There are people who need homes. They showed us the house plans. They are two-bedroom prefab homes,” Burton said.
Representatives of the foundation returned to the sister isle yesterday to do site visits. Burton also indicated that all 22 houses to be constructed are already spoken for.
The topic of disaster-resilient housing became an issue of national interest after two superstorms, Irma and Maria, ripped through the Caribbean in September of 2017 leaving a trail of destruction. Prime Minister Gaston Browne pledged publicly to rebuilding Barbuda better than before with special emphasis placed on climate change and resilience.  

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