BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados government says it expects 150 prefabricated emergency houses from China to arrive on the island soon.
This after being advised that the houses would leave a port in China come Tuesday.
The emergency housing is to assist persons displaced by Hurricane Elsa. The category one storm struck the island on July 2, with maximum sustained winds of near 74 miles per hour, blowing roofs off homes, toppling trees and sparking flooding. Hurricane Elsa was the first storm to hit the nation in 65 years.
According to Prime Minister Mia Mottley, this means assembling of the houses could begin by November and be made available to displaced residents by December.
"We are targeting that by December…, many of these houses, the ones being built locally and the ones that are coming in prefab to be assembled, will mean that a lot of the persons displaced from the hurricane will be back in homes, rather than living in the less than ideal conditions that they are, in this country,” Mottley said.
In an address to the nation over the weekend, Mottley said that the householders were trying to stay in their existing houses but the “conditions are not conducive to them remaining there”.
She said that she had taken “umbrage” at the recent criticism of her administration's fast-tracking housing provision exercise to bring in the 150 emergency homes for citizens.
“The bottom line is that when we ordered those houses last month, it was to help us meet the deficit with respect to the need for emergency housing, against the backdrop of the worst hurricane in 66 years.”
Mottley said that new housing has to be provided for over 500 households, while just under 2,000 houses have to be repaired. However, she stressed that local artisans would be building the foundations and assembling the prefab houses.
“Anybody who has ever worked with this government knows that this government will always push the envelope. And we say to the country, that we are in deep negotiation to have that same Chinese entity establish a manufacturing firm here, that will see us producing those houses not just for Barbados, but for export,” said Mottley.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login