Building standards at forefront of UNDP Carnival Band

Roseau, Dominica, 15 February, 2018— In keeping with its mandate to support the government’s effort to build back better, following the devastating effects of category 5 Hurricane Maria, the UNDP Dominica Project office capitalised on the large audience at the 2018 Carnival Monday parade as team members promoted Dominica’s building standards with an aptly themed float.

The group, which also comprised engineers from civil society organisation, Engineers Without Borders (EWB), focused specifically on roofing standards with the theme “24 gauge- don’t nail it, screw it!” Sporting shirts with the Dominica flag and UNDP logo, the troupe also included a banner and model roof.

The roof was built to highlight practices on how to build back better says Michael Paddock PE, PS of EWB.

“We built it showing best practices such as the use of 24 gauge galvanize, we spaced out the rafters at the appropriate length of 24 inches and of course we used screws to connect the galvanize to the rafters and purlins as they are best for resisting wind pressure and suction,” he stated.

Recovery Advisor and head of the UNDP Dominica Project Office, Ian King was very satisfied with the reaction from those present, stating “Carnival was a great opportunity to showcase the elements of a resilient roof- we had a blast and got a great response.”

Since its arrival to lend support to the early recovery efforts, UNDP through the expertise of EWB has supported the updating of the National Building Guidelines. This was done following extensive consultations with construction professionals (the associations of architects, builders, contractors and engineers) and the Physical Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment.

This document is awaiting final approval by the Cabinet and will be an invaluable resource to builders and homeowners seeking to apply the national building code in their quest to build back better and realize the dream of a climate resilient nation.

Once approved, the document will be distributed digitally and via hard copy.

UNDP in conjunction with EWB and IOM (International Organization for Migration) also conducted training sessions for over 400 builders who are now able to apply climate resilient building practices on the job.

The organisation also played a key role in the completion of a Building Damage Assessment (BDA), which was completed on 29 January with 29,431 buildings surveyed in a process led by the Ministry of Housing, working with UNDP personnel in both Dominica and New York, Microsoft partners and underpinned by the technical training from EWB and UNDP. This database is undergoing a quality control analysis and will inform the recovery process. The 130 civil servants and volunteers who worked diligently gathering this data must be commended for their efforts.

UNDP has partnered with the government of China for the procurement of US$3million worth of roofing materials towards the recovery efforts. This material will be used for the covering of homes and public buildings to include the Dominica State College, Princess Margaret Hospital and the health centres at Woodfordhill, Calibishie, Dos D’Ane, Dublanc and Warner. Housing at Bath Estate and Elmshall will also be rehabilitated in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Water Resources Management. Partnerships are also being pursued with other organisations repairing roofs for the homes of the most vulnerable.

Now that Carnival activities have ended, the model roof will be displayed at several hardware stores across the island, commencing with E.H. Charles on Thursday 15 February from 9am. On Saturday the 17th, it will move to Portsmouth for display at M&R Trading and Rudolph Thomas.

“We welcome the members of the public to come view the model roof and have a chat with us as well,” says Paddock.

Please visit UNDP Dominica’s facebook page for updates on these events at

See photos below. All photos by Zaimis Olmos

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