Housing Minister Premila Kumar. [File Photo]
With Climate change expected to increase the intensity of Tropical Cyclones, there’s a need to build houses according to guidelines.
Housing Minister Premila Kumar says that construction carried out in rural areas are exempted from the Public Health Act 1935, therefore designs were not drawn up to withstand cyclones.
Kumar says a survey following TC Winston in 2016 saw a new guideline developed.
She adds this was something which pointed towards the construction of some homes been substandard.
“We have seen that most of the houses that came down once the study was undertaken, it clearly showed that some of the houses did not have proper strapping and did not have proper roof design and so forth so that’s why it came down.”
The new guideline is aimed at the informal sector and for those houses built in the rural and maritime areas.
“In other words a common man can pick up this guideline, see how the diagrams are, how the drawings are and by using that they can build their home. Village carpenter and villagers using this will be able to come up with the home which will be category five resistant.”
The Minister is encouraging Fijians to use the guidelines for improving building safety and resilience of new single storey-houses and schools in rural areas.