Some Abaco rebuilds do not meet electrical code

Some Abaco rebuilds do not meet electrical code

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A number of homes being rebuilt in Abaco could not be approved for electricity supply as they did not meet the required code, according to Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.

Bannister, whose portfolio includes Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) said the power provider, the Department of Environmental Health and the Disaster Recovery Authority have been working assiduously to “make a difference in Abaco” since the passage of Hurricane Dorian last September.

An estimated 300 homes have been inspected in Abaco by the Ministry of Works.

However, the minister was unable to say how many homes did not pass the electrical inspection.

“That is a real challenge because the inspectors have no authority to pass a home if you don’t meet the requirements of the code,” Bannister said.

“It is just like the same challenge we had before the hurricane.

“If you go and inspect a home and they don’t have all of the roofing requirements and then there is a challenge and you have a hurricane like Dorian, which can take lives, it is very, very critical that inspectors hold people to the code.

“And so, I think a number of government agencies are seeking to assist those persons who have challenges, but we cannot pass buildings if you are not up to code.”

The storm ripped through portions of the island and Grand Bahama.

Bannister also acknowledged challenges with inspectors and said a new inspector has been appointed for the storm-ravaged island.

“These are critical issues for the safety of residents,” the minister said.

“If I put the wrong kind of outlet in my bedroom, and there is a challenge and you have water come in that bedroom, I can be electrocuted.

“These are the kind of challenges that we face that we have to continue to educate people on.

According to Bannister, BPL continues to work in earnest on the island.

In mid-June, the power company said electricity had been restored in Elbow Cay, Man-O-War Cay and Sweetings Village, noting that temporary generation was provided to both cays to provide the necessary supply until work to reconnect the cays to the mainland is complete.

BPL said while these areas were powered, customers must first apply to the Ministry of Works for the needed inspections and to provide BPL with a copy on the installation approvals once received before the power could be restored to their homes.

Restoration for Murphy Town Boulevard, from Forest Drive Way to Zion Baptist Church was expected to begin on June 21; the southern end of Treasure Cay beginning on June 23 and Government Subdivision on June 26.