In the wake of two recent catastrophic hurricanes which devastated a number of sister Caribbean territories, a Government minister has acknowledged that this island’s building code is still in draft and does not yet have the force of law behind it.
However, speaking during a political meeting of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) last night, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley revealed that a bill was due to go before Parliament shortly that speaks to the establishment of a Building Standards Authority.
Lashley told the gathering at the Parkinson Memorial School that the authority would have oversight for buildings as well as responsibility for the establishment of an inspectorate. He also disclosed that Government was currently working on a Street Works Act which would ensure co-ordination with utility companies.
“We want to bring legislation to Parliament because we recognize that when the Ministry of Transport goes and build a road, the Barbados Water Authority, the electricity company, all the utility companies come and dig up the road.
“We are going to bring a piece of legislation called the Street Works Act which will ensure that there is some co-ordination between the utility companies. Indeed there are pieces of legislation that allow them to do it, but they have to notify the Chief Technical Officer, but we are going to consolidate it under the Street Works Act which would tidy up things. They would have a responsibility to return the road to its earlier condition,” he said.
Barbados has generally been spared the impact of the recent hurricane. However Barbadians, including members of the business community have been calling for the establishment of a regional building code, which includes provisions for safe building practices.