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Government moving speedily to fix problems at Clare Valley

Government moving speedily to fix problems at Clare Valley

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The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines will do what it takes to make the houses at the Clare Valley housing development safe, even if it means having to reconstruct some of them.

Minister of Housing Montgomery Daniel, addressing owners of homes {{more}}at the Clare Valley housing development where, on September 19, a house collapsed, said he has seen for himself what the homeowners are complaining about and he shares their concerns.

The Minister was speaking at a meeting of the homeowners with government officials at the Clare Valley community centre on September 27.

Daniel said on the Monday morning after the three-bedroom house, owned by Dr Katisha Douglas came down, he met with the board and management of the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC).

“We immediately took a plan of action to try to assist in remedying these concerns as urgently as possible.”

The Minister said as of Monday this week, the office of the chief engineer is doing a detailed analysis of every house at the development.

He said the engineers are also preparing an estimate of the total drainage required.

“This will be done on the roads as well as where the plans show between the houses where drains are to be established…,” Daniel said.

The Minister also disclosed that Vincentian geologist Dr Richard Robertson of the University of the West Indies has been invited to come to St Vincent to assist with an assessment of the soil and to give the HLDC further recommendations if needed.

In relation to the house that collapsed, Daniel said the Government has accepted responsibility and will be rebuilding that house. He also promised that if assessments indicate that other houses should be demolished and new houses built, that will be done.

“Where there needs to have remedial works, there will be remedial works done on those houses. I must also say to you that we are also looking for more lands in this area and that if after the assessements are done, and it shows outside of the remedial works, that if a new house is to be established, we will established a new house. But the assessments have to prove …. that house has to be demolished and there has to be a new house. We await the reports.”

Minister of State in the Ministry of Works Julian Francis, also addressing the meeting, said drains will be established at the housing development with “priority and urgency.”

Promising homeowners that they will “see action,” Francis said he intended to visit every home in the development.

“…What we have to do and I believe in a very short space of time, we will do the repairs to start to tie the columns….”

He said he had been advised by the chief engineer that when houses are being built on columns, when they are being taken to a certain height, the columns must be tied together to stop the houses from moving. Francis also promised that the smaller columns would be strengthened and increased in size.

“I want to assure you all that we will move with the quickest speed.”

“Over 1,300 houses have been built in this country, and unfortunately, one has fallen…One too many and I feel it for Dr Douglas…” Francis said.

On September 19, the house which Dr Katisha Douglas had been occupying for the past 18 months collapsed. Dr Douglas said she had complained to the HLDC that her house was shaking and that there were cracks in the columns and beams of the house.

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