Saturday 18 January, 2020

Illegal buildings add to flooding woes, but to what extent?

Marie Hinds, Director - Town and Country Planning

Marie Hinds, Director - Town and Country Planning

Illegal structures are responsible for some measure of the country’s flooding woes, but the Town and Country Planning Division can’t say to what extent. 

Appearing before a Joint Select Committee on flood alleviation, Director at Town and Country, Marie Hinds, explained that their data collection process doesn’t allow them to know how many illegal structures exist in flood prone areas. They are also unable to determine how many of these unauthorised structures have contributed to flooding. 

In addition, Hinds says the lack of data affects information sharing between state agencies like the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. This blocks the Division from being able to hold these builders to account for the buildings and their environmental impact. 

As a result, Town and Country has requested that a nationwide study be done to determine areas that can be cemented as ‘flood prone’.  

Up to recently, the Division has used flood risk maps to determine flood prone areas which are regularly updated by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management. 

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