HRP Meets With Contractors

"It was a very fruitful meeting indeed; the discussion was interesting, participation was good and suggestions were useful."

HRP Meets With Contractors

This was the feedback from Nicholas Bruno, Project Manager of the Housing Recovery Project (HRP) of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development, following a meeting with contractors currently undertaking projects with the HRP. The meeting was held on Thursday, 25th November, 2021 at the Dominica Public Service Union.

Bruno said the meeting gives the HRP an opportunity to review the organization’s processes to ensure that the interests of all are served.

"At the end of the day all the parties are looking for the same thing and that is to see how we can build houses for the most vulnerable people in society but we also want to ensure that the contractors who are mainly the ones taking the bigger risk on this project are, in fact, able to survive, do well and develop."

The meeting was chaired by Engineering Consultant with the World Bank, Daniel Campbell, who said that the attendance was quite promising.

"It shows that the Contractors are willing to come here and be a part of the solution process. I think that the responses were reflective and indicative of most, if not all, of the issues that I see on site. Some of the solutions were creative and interesting."

He said that the next steps include documenting their responses, discussing them internally and presenting them to the World Bank.

Approximately 28 of the 32 active contractors attended the meeting. Several HRP officials and other stakeholders were among the facilitators of the session, including Dr. Genora Joseph, Chief Physical Planner of the Physical Planning Division. She described the initiative as a good one, since it allowed both the local and visiting teams to hear, from the contractors themselves, some of the issues being experienced on site.

"We recognize that there are various constraints, various differences in the sites and all of these are things that add up together to pose unique challenges for the various contractors. It was also a good opportunity for other contractors to exchange knowledge with their peers and to develop techniques and approaches to improve their efficiency and effectiveness on their construction sites."

Dr. Joseph urged the contractors to collaborate to achieve economies of scale.

"A project of this nature can be best executed if we have a level of collaboration, especially in the procurement of material. These are all small contractors and they are all seeking to gain a profit from the project. They can come together and, in so doing, reduce the cost of construction and that improves their chances of recognizing a profit margin."

Contractor Sherman Boston, a Partner of B&J Pros located in Goodwill, said the meeting went well.

"B&J Pros came on board to try our best to see the project to completion. Hats off to the World Bank and the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica for making the project possible and for entrusting this project into the hands of small contractors. I would like the small contractors to come together and make the project a success, to make sure the contractors, the Government and the people of Dominica benefit well."

The meeting was part of a process of continued engagement between the HRP and beneficiaries, contractors, the Design and Supervision Firm (DSF) and the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica. Sixty-five projects are currently being managed by the HRP with a total target of 420 homes.

The Housing Recovery Project – Project Implementation Unit (HRP-PIU) came into operation in February 2019 and was designed to benefit persons whose homes, up to 500 sq. ft., were completely destroyed following the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017. The HRP-PIU is spearheaded by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and financed by the World Bank through a US$30M grant and a US$10M credit.

Posted: 03/12/2021