Building code revamp has willpower but not timeline – says engineer

Building code revamp has willpower but not timeline – says engineer
Quentin Knowles, the Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE) president

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — When necessary changes to the country’s building code and Town Planning Act will be introduced is ‘anyone’s guess’, according to Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE) president Quentin Knowles.

Knowles told Eyewitness News, “I know the will is there”.

He noted that in the wake of the massive devastation of Hurricane Dorian, the need to make amendments to the country’s building code and Town Planning Act to restrict building in certain areas became painfully obvious.

“I think that has been embedded into the mindset of the powers that be. There is talk of changing the code and looking at Town Planning to ensure that there can be restrictions on people building in certain areas such as low lying areas,” he said.

“I think that is the mindset now. When we will see the policies and code changes is anyone’s guess. I know the will is there, it’s just when.”

Furthermore, Knowles expressed concern that with multiple agencies now involved to some degree disaster response, there may be added bureaucracy.

“I’m just a little concerned. You have NEMA, the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction and the Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA),” he said.

“That’s just me on the today looking in. That’s not to say great things won’t come out of it but we know how government works. It takes a long time to implement measures to get things moving and make sure the necessary policies and program are in place.”