Acting Director of RDC, Russell Armstrong, speaking with Courtney Greenidge and Ryan Goddard of Conroy Construction outside one of the newly built houses in Orange Hill, St. James. (F. Belgrave/BGIS)

The Rural Development Commission (RDC) is continuing apace with construction efforts to bring relief to persons whose homes were damaged or destroyed during the freak storm and Hurricane Elsa, which impacted the island earlier this year.

 Acting Director of the RDC, Russell Armstrong, said some of the houses which the Commission was assigned to work on after the freak storm and Hurricane Elsa had already been completed and the contractors were pressing ahead with the others.

“As part of the Hurricane Elsa Construction Programme, we have been assigned 303 houses to rebuild and repair in St. Lucy, St. Peter, St. Andrew, St. John, St. Joseph and St. Thomas. In both cases of rebuilds and repairs, we are seeking to ensure that upon completion, these homes are structurally sound and more resilient to any future cyclones.

“Contractors have already been engaged for 55 per cent of the assigned repairs, and 95 per cent of the assigned rebuilds, and the construction work is at various stages of completion. We are working assiduously to assist those Barbadians who have been affected by these weather events as we understand their difficulty, since RDC deals with similar situations daily. These events have highlighted for the rest of Barbados the conditions that some of our clients and citizens are living in,” Mr. Armstrong stated.

He noted that the construction work was progressing well, with the contractors and their teams pushing to complete additional houses. 

“The contractors, who were mobilised by the RDC across the six northern parishes, have been tasked with completing the massive construction programme by the first quarter of 2022. While construction activity may slow over the coming holiday period, as is usually the case, some construction crews will be pushing to complete the first tranche of the houses by year-end.

“The contractors and their teams are totally committed to completing the homes in a timely manner, so householders can move forward and focus on a positive start,” Mr. Armstrong said. 

After substantial damage and destruction of the houses following the weather events, Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dr. William Duguid, was tasked with overseeing this massive programme, with the work being carried out by the National Housing Corporation, Urban Development Commission and RDC.

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