Categorized | National News

Cat Island Residents Complete NEMA Building Course

OLD BIGHT, Cat Island – About 30 residents graduated from a Safer Building Code Course held in Cat Island where most of the homes were severely damaged during the passage of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The three-week course was held by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in conjunction with the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency along with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and the Bahamian Contractors’ Association.

The course was held under the theme: “Enhancing Community Resilience To Disaster”.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Old Bight High School on April 5, 2014.

Cat Island was struck by Hurricane Irene in 2011, and the following year by Hurricane Sandy, with more than 100 homes severely damaged or completely destroyed. Hence the island was chosen for the safer building code course, the third in the series held outside New Providence.

Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell noted that over the past 20 years, The Bahamas and the Caribbean have experienced major hurricanes, severe floods and other destructive weather systems, which seemed to be growing in intensity.

And in this vein CDEMA’s aim is to have its 18-member countries implement building codes that are up to standards.

The Safer Building Course is being supported through the Comprehensive Disaster Management Harmonised Implementation Programme: Phase I (CDM HIP) and is aimed at enhancing resilience and building a culture of safety at the community level in CDEMA participating states.

The first two courses were held in New Providence; the second one included the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica, the third was held in Cat Island.

Captain Russell said that NEMA and BTVI have teamed up to ensure the sustainability of the safer building code programme throughout the country.

The participants concluded 90 hours of studying and training to enhance their skills and techniques in various areas taught by a wide cross section of skilled experts.

“Well done in making yourselves available after your regular working hours. I am comforted in knowing that you can build structures that can withstand any storm, with little or no damage,” Captain Russell told the graduates.

He also urged them to make themselves available and always ready to assist.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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