A Call for Community Action: Monitor the Barbados Building Codes Before Disaster Strikes (Again)


If you are even thinking about purchasing a home in Barbados you need to read Grenville’s articles. But like many Bajans who have never lived off the island in a society that is governed by the rule of law, Grenville doesn’t understand that without proper laws, and adherence to the rule of law, a society cannot enforce compliance to standards of any kind. He doesn’t understand that without laws that formally set the standards and provide mechanisms for enforcement and penalties – there are no real standards. via Barbados Free Press

So while I was doing what I thought was my public service to Barbados being I have a blog about things that are happening there, I wanted to update the public about earthquake preparedness when I ran across some tips for the community and media about reviewing building codes. I posted this information to social media and a Bajan responded in assurance that the building codes are up to par being that during the recent earthquakes there hasn’t been any damage. Her logic made sense in a way but I wanted to confirm what she had to say for myself. As I researched I came upon information about the National Building Code for Barbados and was TRAUMATIZED all over again at how as with the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and CHILD ABUSE REPORTING legislation, there has been nothing but delay after delay and continuance of abuse toward the people of Barbados in the perpetuation of a culture of LAWLESSNESS.

Successive Barbados Governments Have Failed To Enact Proper Laws In Many Areas

This problem is at the root of many of our frustrations on Barbados. We can’t enforce environmental responsibility if we don’t have standards set in law and penalties to hammer the worst offenders with. That’s one of the reasons why the previous BLP government allowed Shell Oil to get away with the toxic disaster at the airport jet fuel pipeline: there was no law against what Shell did!

That’s why corrupt members of the previous BLP government could get away with unethical behaviours that would have seen them thrown in jail in the United States, Canada or the UK: their behaviours were not against the law of Barbados.

There was no law against former Public Works Minister Gline Clark building a house on land that his government expropriated. There was no law against Minister Clark withdrawing “campaign donations” cash from his personal bank account at the ScotiaBank and then using the cash to pay his house contractor.

We have more road deaths than murders, yet we still don’t have the breathalyzer laws and the equipment that would reduce drunken driving and save lives. With no effective laws and without the deterrence provided by roadside testing by police traffic officers, drunken driving remains a national weekend pastime.

Without proper laws – anything goes.

So having laws is the first requirement for setting standards, and Barbados does not have a Building Code that is law. We have a draft Building Code that has never been proclaimed as law. via Barbados Free Press


The connection between the VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS and disregard for PROTECTION OF HUMAN LIFE in Barbados is most clear in evidence regarding the murders of Pearl Amanda Cornelius, 18, Kelly Ann Welch, 24, Shanna Griffith, 18, Nikita Belgrave, 23, Tiffany Harding, 23 and Kellisha Ovivierre, 24 during a robbery and fire.

Writers at Barbados Free Press had this to say regarding “THE BLAME GAME”:

The other cause of their deaths is that Barbados has no enforceable building code. Folks just build as they want to, with no standards as to amount of steel or how rebar is connected. No standards as to fire exits or alternate fire exits through windows. Campus Trendz was a deathtrap from the moment it was constructed, and six young women died because Barbados had no building code to protect them.

Similarly an entire family died at ArchCot when a powerful family (BLP leader Mia Mottley’s family) invested in land over a known cave. How the prohibition against building over the known cave was lifted was never really explained to the public. Just another of those magical Bajan processes very similar to how a BLP Government Minister came to live in a house built on private land that had been expropriated for government purposes.

That Barbados has no building code makes it easier for the corruption and the corrupt to thrive and profit.



In assessing Barbados’ risk, he noted, one has to try to determine the possible hazard and the subsequent potential for loss or damage, the probability for different events which can cause people to be affected and based on the location, how likely people can be injured or damaged once exposed.

In terms of the Barbados National Building Code, it details the technical standards and requirements for the design and construction of buildings in respect of issues concerning structural sufficiency and durability, fire safety, health and amenity, which are regarded as essential minimum provisions in the public interest.

Standards for the manufacture, use and testing of building materials, components and systems are also included, to support the administration of the Code and promote the economic development of the industry. The Code takes into account the particular climatic and geological conditions of Barbados, especially the nature of the Caribbean environment and the region’s susceptibility to hurricanes and earthquakes. There is no legislation in place however, for its mandatory use. via Greg Parris / Barbados Association of Professional Engineers

So many people are left VULNERABLE and EXPLOITED in Barbados due to the lack of LEADERSHIP on government, and grass roots levels. #ProtectTheChildren

Media and Community Education Ideas

  • Ask your community to develop stronger building codes. Building codes are the public’s first line of defense against earthquakes. The codes specify the levels of earthquake forces that structures must be designed to withstand. As ground motions of greater intensity have been recorded, the minimum earthquake requirements specified in building codes have been raised.
  • Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.
  • Conduct a week-long newspaper series on locating hazards in the home.
  • Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments about what to do during an earthquake.
  • Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.
  • Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off utilities. via disastercenter.com

-Tru Focus-

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