Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 22nd 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 22, 2015
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With 140 seismic events report-
ed by the University of West Indies
Seismic Research Centre for this
year, chairman of the T&T Build-
ing Code Committee Shyankaran
Lalla wants an urgent meeting
with Housing Minister Marlene
Mc Donald to discuss implemen-
tation of a National Building Code.
Lalla, who is expected to fly to
Los Angeles, United States, to do
a presentation for the international
global forum of the International
Code Council (ICC) on September
27, said T&T is due for a massive
"Today, hundreds of Housing
Development Corporation (HDC)
houses do not meet building code
requirements and this is a disaster
waiting to happen. The fast-track-
ing of the construction of HDC
houses for political expediency is
a waste of taxpayers money and
should not be allowed to happen
again," Lalla said in an interview
He said that any undertaking of
a construction programme without
the proper quality control systems
in place was doomed to fail.
Noting that all HDC projects
must meet minimum building code
requirements, Lalla said: "We have
witnessed the loss of lives due to
the absence of fire escapes in Trou
Macaque (apartments). We have
become complacent with regards
to disaster risk reduction and if we
do not address disaster risk reduc-
tion with a sense of urgency we
will suffer the consequences."
"Prime Minister Dr Keith Row-
ley is a seismologist and served at
UWI Seismic so we are confident
that he will heed the warnings of
UWI Seismic Unit and ensure that
building codes are developed with
a sense of urgency as well as meet
with stakeholders to hold discus-
sions on disaster risk reduction."
Lalla said T&T cannot afford to
operate like an Automatic Teller
Machine (ATM) when every time
a disaster occurs, Government runs
to provide beds and tarpaulin.
"We must focus on the reduction
of risks associated with disasters
by designing resilient structures
with sustainable development in
mind," Lalla said.
He noted that former housing
minister Dr Roodal Moonilal signed
an agreement with the ICC for the
use of licensed materials and adop-
tion of the International Building
Codes following recommendations
made by the Cabinet appointed
National Building Code Commit-
tee.A budget of $12 million was
approved by Cabinet in December
2013 but no funding was ever pro-
vided to the committee to deliver
on its mandate. Members of the
committee were never paid their
stipend, Lalla said.
"This did not stop members of
the committee from working since
they used their own resources to
complete 75 per cent of the work
thus far," Lalla said.
He said he hoped that the new
Government will recognise the
importance of the development of
a National Building Code based on
the recent increase of seismic activ-
ity.Calls to the cellphones of Rowley
and Mc Donald went unanswered
T&T lawyers, Hazel Thompson-
Ahye and Krystle Ahye, will make
history at the 19th World Conference
of the International Institute for
Restorative Practices (IIRP) in Beth-
lehem, Pennsylvania, United States,
carded for October 26-28.
The Ahyes, both IIRP certified train-
ers in facilitating restorative confer-
ences, are the first mother and daugh-
ter team to present at an IIRP
conference. Their topic is the Relevance
of Restorative Practices to Implemen-
tation of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child.
The conference will bring together
leading restorative practitioners and
thinkers who are shaping the new
social science of restorative practices
in education and other fields. Featured
presenters at the world conference
include Judge Mark Ingram, Idaho
Supreme Court Director of Juvenile
Justice, who has been spearheading
restorative justice for three decades
and Terry O Connell, the Australian,
who pioneered restorative practices in
justice and education and introduced
restorative justice to the US and the
UK. O Connell s presentation is titled:
The Best Is Yet To Come: Unlocking
Restorative Practice s True Potential.
Among the many other presenters
are Rick Phillips, who will speak on
Empowering Young People to Improve
their School Climate and Prevent Vio-
lence and Bullying; Dr Michael Davis
and Roxanne Swogger, on Restoration
and Reintegration: The Story of
Restorative Practice in the Ohio Prison
System and John Boulton, on Cyber-
bullying: Using Restorative Practices
Creatively To Educate, Increase Aware-
ness and Reduce the Incidence.
Those wishing to attend may register
on the conference Web site:
For further information, contact
Hazel Thompson-Ahye at: epiphany-
Urgent need for
building code laws
Hazel Thompson-Ahye, left, and and Krystle Ahye.
T&T lawyers to make
history at world meet
Despite the sudden death of her daughter Kellane
Hinds at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital on Sep-
tember 14, Irene Hinds, the operations officer of the
ruling People s National Movement (PNM) yesterday
said she did not intend to pursue legal action against
the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA).
This, although the family continues to await the
findings of the investigation into Kellane s death.
Kellane, 34, died hours after delivering her son
Hinds has adopted the newborn and her daughter s
other child, seven-year-old Kimora.
Due to celebrate her 35th birthday next month, Kel-
lane was admitted to hospital on September 13, but
passed away the next morning.
Health Minister Dr Terrence Deyalsingh had ordered
an immediate investigation into the sudden death to
determine if it was due to negligence or natural caus-
es.Describing a half-hour meeting at the Ministry of
Health s head office at Park Street, Port-of-Spain yes-
terday as "cordial," Hinds admitted the family was
"not happy" with the information being provided to
In a release, the ministry confirmed the meeting
with Deyalsingh, Permanent Secretary Donna Ferraz
and Chief Medical Officer Dr Colin Furlonge.
Assuring that a full investigation was being conducted
by the NWRHA and that the report was expected
shortly, officials said the ministry was committed to
"conducting an independent investigation into the
This investigation is expected to be spearheaded by
Dr Spencer Perkins, an expert in the field of Gynae-
No legal action for Kellane's death
The family was also reassured that the findings of
the two reports would be made available to them.
Extending condolences to the Hinds family once
again, Deyalsingh reaffirmed his ministry s commitment
to ensuring that a high standard of health care was
provided to all citizens of T&T.
Additionally, an offer for counselling services has
been extended to the family by the ministry.
Ministry officials also said that plans were underway
to soon appoint a Director of Women s Health, who
will oversee issues pertaining to foetal, maternal and
neonatal health---inclusive of all previous reports of
similar incidents, with the aim of reducing incidence
of both maternal and infant mortality.
Hinds unhappy with Health Ministry's response but..
140 tremors hit country this year
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