The growing intensity of weather systems is the new norm, and the way business is done in the Caribbean has to change, says Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
After touring parts of The Bahamas hit by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian last week, she made it clear the way business was done in Barbados and the Caribbean had to change, as it related to preparing for such weather systems.
Mottley outlined Government’s plan of action going forward, to boost Barbados’ resilience.
“Our duty is to not only report what we saw, it is to determine how we move forward. To sit and do nothing would be to leave our people not just in Barbados, but the entire region vulnerable to a fate that is worse than war. We have a responsibility as Caribbean people to redefine how we live, and how we bolster our resilience for what is clearly a new norm,” she said.
Topping the list of proposed changes is the way houses are built in Barbados. Prime Minister Mottley said that this would be done as part of Government’s capital transformation project, Roofs to Reefs.
She explained that Cabinet had agreed that the Ministry of Housing would issue a request for proposals, inviting architects and engineers to submit three to four designs for low and middle income houses, following a town hall meeting to alert them about the process and expectations.
The second part of Government’s action plan involves the clean-up process, which Mottley described as being “critical” and should involve clearing the alleys, canals, water courses and around residences.
“We must now become a resilient people, not just Barbadians, but Caribbean people across the board. That readiness and resilience comes from us preparing ourselves in how we build, and in how we keep around our environment,” she said.