Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Bad development costing region millions, says CDEMA head

Bad infrastructural development in all Caribbean states is costing this region millions of dollars in damages every year.

Responding to questions from the media last week Thursday at the Hilton Barbados, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Executive Director, Ronald Jackson, noted that a lack of building codes and proper land use planning were resulting in heavy losses during disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes.
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
(CDEMA) Executive Director Ronald Jackson.

“We do not practice land use planning and exercise development control and enforce policies to proper development, then we are going to continue to see the kind of devastation that we have seen in our countries. So building codes – we have to establish them and we have to enforce these codes, so that the structures that are going up are resilient against the hazards against the day-to-day, year-to-year things we will face,” he stressed.

Pointing out that the region was very hazard prone, Jackson stated that in order to ensure that it did not slip in terms of economic targets, these issues related to development have to be addressed.

“There is bad development, and bad development is what is leading to the year by year losses we have been seeing. We will not be able to prevent everything, but we can certainly reduce the level of impact. We can get back to our growth projections much quicker than we have in the past,” he stated.

In addition, he noted that this was a general situation across the island states.

“It is a situation within Caribbean development planning that needs to be addressed generally. We depend on coastal resources, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be right on top of the coast. We are destroying our coral reefs, which are natural buffers from which we gain our livelihoods, whether it be from tourism, fishing; and which also protects us from these hazardous situations,” Jackson said. (JMB)

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