PLANNING THE WAY FORWARD- STRUCTURAL VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT & SUSTAINABILITY STAKEHOLDER FORUM
As the rainy season begins it is important that we evaluate our building and land use policies, as inappropriate land use and construction techniques can have disastrous results.
Trinidad and Tobago is faced with natural threats namely hurricanes, earthquakes and Tsunamis. This can make the islands vulnerable to flooding, storm surge, collapsing building and infrastructural damage and landslides. To prevent or minimise damage and injury to citizens as part of the goals of the Comprehensive Economic Development Plan, some its’ of the strategic priority areas are: to improve infrastructure and environmental sustainability. The Structural Vulnerability Assessment and Sustainability of the islands residential infrastructure and land use is imperative, and this forum is the start on a national conversation to improve infrastructure and effective land use policy to mitigate casualties and lost of property in natural disasters.
The study of the structural vulnerability and assessment and sustainability will illustrate the the need for a structured and well-funded approach to building and land use policies to ensure that islands infrastructure and communities can withstand a natural hazards, as well as recommendations for improving the standard of hazard resistant design and construction on the island.
The Structural Vulnerability Assessment and Sustainability Stakeholder Forum on Thursday 19th May, 2016 was the start of discussions on improving and implementing infrastructure and land use policies. There were presentations from:
- The Tobago Emergency Management Agency which focused on the history of natural disastrous in Tobago, the effects on these disasters on Tobago, and the systems and intuitions that were formed to assist the island emergency agencies, for example TEMA, CERT, and the Scarborough and the South West Evacuation Plans
- Ministry of Planning presented on the topography of Tobago and the vulnerability of our most critical infrastructure on Tobago’s shore line,
- The Seismic Research Centre spoke on the creation of Earthquakes, global and regional seismicity, Eastern Caribbean Earthquake faults, active seismic zones in Trinidad and Tobago, significant zones in Tobago, and the necessity for measures to promote sustainable infrastructure.
- Meteorological Service of Trinidad and Tobago explained how on climate change affects weather patterns which can have adverse effects on the island, as a consequence it will affect how government to plan land use in the future.