A little over four months ago, Keino Jacob’s life changed forever when his Palo Seco home burnt to the ground.
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Still months and years to get house plans approved
I went to the Chaguanas Borough Corporation (CBC) on March 8, for a Local Government Consultation. The setting was great, with the Minister of Local Government outlining his Government’s plan for the transformation.
There was seating inside the auditorium and also seating in the open air. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the duration of the programme because of the number of mosquitoes in the open area. It has left me bewildered that in the CBC itself, there was such a problem with mosquitoes and no one thought it fit to spray the area before.
Actually, it was ironic that the reason I attended the consultation was to bring to the attention of the Minister the irrelevance of the County Medical Office of Health (CMOH) in dealing with subdivision surveys and house plans.
Imagine in 2016 a house plan is failed by CMOH because it doesn’t have ventilation. In a day where everyone has AC units, they want me to put decorative blocks so that my house could have ventilation. Ventilation for mosquitoes and smoke from all the bush fires to come into my house.
I would have pointed out to the Minister, the fact that the reason for the prevalence of diseases like Zika and dengue, is that the CMOH department is not doing its job.
Let the officers visit places and fine people for having water-filled containers and rubbish in their yards, instead of trying to play engineer and hold back people’s house plans for months, and in some cases years. Imagine, a health inspector told me that my building is not structurally sound. I never knew that health inspectors studied engineering.
How could any Government want to stimulate the economy via the construction sector, when the very processes of obtaining completion certificates are so long, drawn out and tedious. No one in authority could answer what benefit does CMOH add to the building process.
Please Mr Minister, let’s get the act together.
The previous Government never encouraged housing, please take the initiative and eliminate the CMOH from dealing with plans, whether survey plans or house plans, because you already have Public Health Inspectors and Building Inspectors in each Corporation.
And, Mr Minister, if you want precedent, none of the northern corporations require CMOH’s approval.