National Building Code Development consultative meeting was held between 3BMD Associates Engineering Consultants who were awarded the contract to develop a the document for the Republic of Sierra Leone and a cross-section of Management of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure which included the Deputy Minister, Permanent Secretary and Heads of Divisions to discuss the progress attained and issues of vital importance.
The Deputy Minister Hon Abdul Barrie who chaired the meeting welcomed all present and said the development of the National Building Code Document is of immense importance as it will replace the outdate 1960 Freetown Improvement Act. The National Build Code would consist of nationwide regulations on Building whilst the 1960 Freetown Improvement Act covers regulations for Buildings in Freetown and its environs.
The leader of the team of consultants, Mr. Michael Johnson a retired Director of Surveys and Lands intimated the Ministry of their work, initial findings and recommendations.
- The National Building Code will be developed after which a separate policy on Housing will be formulated that will regulate the Housing Industry in Sierra Leone.
- The Planning Division of Housing and the Development Division of Housing should be under the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure for efficiency and effectiveness. Presently the Planning Division is under the Ministry of Lands whilst the Development Division is under the Ministry of Works.
- A National Building Code Act should be tabled in parliament to legalize the new National Building Code that will be developed. This is necessary because the 1960 Freetown Improvement Act only governs Freetown and its environs.
- The option of Outsourcing for the Housing Division will be considered in the form of hiring consultants to build up the capacity of the Division. Training of staff should also be incorporated.
The Acting Minister lauded the efforts of the consultants for the progress made and encouraged them that the Ministry will ensure that the initial payment as stipulated in the contract will be expedited.
The consultants promised to work according to the time frame of having the first draft of the National Building Code document before the end of 2014.
The fields of Architecture, Development Planning, Building and Law were represented in the team of consultants. Other members of staff present were the Permanent Secretary, the Chief Architect, the Ag Director of Housing, the Ag Chief Civil Engineer and the Deputy Secretaries.
The development of a National Building Code is one of the outputs of the Ministry’s PTT for 2014.