PM: Building code not followed
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.