Hurricane Victims Attend Course in Housing Construction


Some 150 persons in the Portland Cottage community in Clarendon have benefited from a training session on best practices to use in constructing houses, through the HEART/NTA Restoration Project.
The training was held on November 13 at the Portland Cottage Community Centre, and was undertaken in light of the destruction of houses in that community by Hurricane Ivan on September 10.
Harold Valentine, Co-ordinator of the project explained to JIS News that the course was designed to ensure that houses were properly constructed to withstand natural disasters.
“The people having experienced the devastation of Hurricane Ivan, HEART thought it was prudent to go into the areas mostly affected and impart to them the knowledge of building safe houses,” he said.
Mr. Valentine pointed out that initially, the project would be implemented in four parishes considered most affected by the hurricane, including Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and St. Catherine. He added that the course would be conducted throughout the island in upcoming months.
He noted that the first two sessions had been completed in the communities of Newell in St. Elizabeth on October 23 and Newport in Manchester on November 6, where a total of 118 persons benefited.
Mr. Valentine emphasized that the most critical issues to be noted included the proper identification of land, the location of the building, proper construction of the structure and adherence to the building codes and regulations set by the local governing bodies.
The sessions were conducted using building instructors from the Portmore HEART Academy, and the Lluidasvale, Above Rocks and Old Harbour Vocational Training Centres. The training is being done in collaboration with the Master Builders Association of Jamaica.

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