World Bank to assist Jamaica with new Building Act
Jamaica will be getting help from the World Bank towards the promulgation and passage of a new Building Act to replace the country’s 109-year-old building code.
The World Bank-financed Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP), under the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery provides for technical assistance and training to fast-track the process of understanding and implementing the code as well as parameters to regulate the informal building sector.
A World Bank release said it was against this background that, at a recent workshop, representatives of key ministries, departments and agencies of government met with leading engineers, architects, the International Code Council (ICC) and World Bank staff to exchange information and ideas on how best to accelerate the process.
It quoted information from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, which said an estimated 70 per cent of Jamaica’s buildings have been designed without any formal or professional input. While natural disasters cannot be halted, the adoption of modern building codes adapted to the Jamaican context would significantly enhance the resilience of the island’s infrastructure, and by extension mitigate damage to property and even more critically the loss of lives.
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