The 150 prefabricated emergency houses from China will be heading to Barbados shortly.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley, in an address to the nation Saturday evening, said she had been advised by her Minister of Housing that they would leave a port in China on Tuesday, September 21.
Mottley told her audience: “This means that by possibly Independence, some of these houses will begin to be assembled. And we are targeting that by December…, many of these houses, the ones being built locally and the ones that are coming in prefab to be assembled, [will be ready, so that] will mean that a lot of the persons displaced from the hurricane and the storm will be back in homes, rather than living in the less than ideal conditions that they are, in this country.”
She noted that as recent as this week, the Ministry of People Empowerment advertised for temporary accommodation for some of those households severely impacted by the freak storm and Hurricane Elsa. She explained that the householders were trying to stay in their existing houses but the “conditions are not conducive to them remaining there”.
The Prime Minister said she had taken “umbrage” at the recent criticism of Government’s fast tracking housing provision exercise to bring in the 150 emergency homes for citizens.
“The bottom line is that when we ordered those houses last month, it was to help us meet the deficit with respect to the need for emergency housing, against the backdrop of the worst hurricane in 66 years,” she insisted.
Mottley pointed out that new housing has to be provided for over 500 households, while just under 2,000 houses have to be repaired. However, she stressed that local artisans would be building the foundations and assembling the prefab houses.
“Anybody who has ever worked with this Government knows that this Government will always push the envelope. And we say to the country, that we are in deep negotiation to have that same Chinese entity establish a manufacturing firm here, that will see us producing those houses not just for Barbados, but for export,” she disclosed.
During her near hour-long address, the Prime Minister said there was a distinct possibility that some Barbadian services might have to be exported to the world.
Meanwhile, Mottley leaves the island on Sunday to attend and participate in the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. While there, she will also take part in the UN Secretary General’s High Level Meeting on Climate, and will have a bilateral meeting with the President of Ghana. While she is away, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, will act as Prime Minister.