Building owners have been urged to adhere to existing building codes, as the Caribbean prepares for increased weather activity during the current Atlantic hurricane season that began on June 1, 2017 and ends on November 30.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department of Physical Planning, Hildreth Lewis, believes that adherence to building codes could have saved losses during past disasters.
“Persons build in areas that are ill advised to build by the authorities and the competent agencies and so that puts them at risk and at the same time puts the state in a bit of a difficult position when we have to come to their rescue and provide resources to help them rehabilitate their lives and property,” Lewis told the OECS Island Resilience Project.
He explained that the issue of climate change is a reminder of the sometimes perilous nature of the existence of Small Island States (SIDS) surrounded by water.
Lewis said climate change brings negative potential impacts on small islands.
His department assists in the coordination of certain areas of the OECS Global Climate Change Alliance/GCCA Project, which is concerned with the review of the building code and the physical planning development act.
According to reports, in 2011 independent researchers documented over 1250 landslides across Saint Lucia, many of which were as a result of Hurricane Tomas.