PM: Build­ing code not fol­lowed

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - MAIKA BOLATIKI Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika Feed­back: maikab@fi­

Gov­ern­ment is aware that a num­ber of builders were not fol­low­ing the na­tional build­ing code to save money. This was re­vealed by Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama at Tokaimalo Dis­trict School in Ra af­ter in­spect­ing the dam­aged class­rooms on Thurs­day which clearly in­di­cated that con­trac­tors were not fol­low­ing the code. With the cy­clone re­port ready, he said a pri­or­ity area in the re­build­ing of homes would be for con­trac­tors to fol­low the build­ing code.

The cy­clone re­port will be tabled in a Cab­i­net meet­ing and Gov­ern­ment will pri­ori­tise the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme by Tues­day. Gov­ern­ment is con­cerned that con­trac­tors who had been tasked with con­struct­ing sev­eral build­ings had been look­ing for cheaper op­tions in­stead of fo­cus­ing on qual­ity. “In some cases where they should put a strap and a nail, they just used a nail,” he said. Mr Bain­i­marama met with a num­ber of lead­ing build­ing en­gi­neers who in­formed him that most dam­aged houses sus­tained mas­sive dam­age be­cause they had not fol­lowed the na­tional build­ing code. Mr Bain­i­marama had ear­lier told the Fiji Sun that vil­lage houses were built just to pro­vide shel­ter for the fam­i­lies and did not give any form of se­cu­rity dur­ing a cy­clone of Win­ston’s mag­ni­tude.

His mes­sage to all those that had lost their homes is: – “Build strong homes to with­stand cy­clones.”

He said in the re­build­ing pro­gramme, the con­trac­tors should fol­low the Na­tional Build­ing Code which was a pri­or­ity. Mean­while, Gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied the cy­clone af­fected pri­or­ity ar­eas. This was con­firmed yes­ter­day by the di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Of­fice (NDMO) Aka­pusi Tuifa­galele. He said there was an in­ter­na­tional for­mula that was fol­lowed. Mr Tuifa­galele said Gov­ern­ment was still in the plan­ning stage on mea­sures to be put in place to pre­pare Fiji for other storms of this mag­ni­tude.

The Prime Min­is­ter said that some build­ing con­trac­tors were not fol­low­ing na­tional build­ing code.

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama.

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