31 Jan 2013

Cyclone prompts Fiji building code review

9:05 am on 31 January 2013

A public works official in Fiji says the building code needs to be revised to ensure new buildings are completely cyclone-proof.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Francis Kean, says his ministry has rebuilt five schools in the Western Division, but other bodies such as the army are completing nine other schools, where children are currently learning in UNICEF shelters.

These include remote schools in the Yasawa and Mamanuca island groups.

Mr Kean says engineers have assessed the current code as well as the cyclone damage and will be submitting a report to the Minister and cabinet.

He says for the time being there needs to be supervision of worksites to ensure private construction companies are following the current building code.

"The report that was compiled after witnessing some of the structural damage, we believe that there needs to be proper and thorough monitoring and supervision during the rebuilding phases of this infrastructure."

Permanent Secretary Kean thanked staff who worked over the Christmas break to enable school students to return to classes on time.