The housing units that are being built by the Preconco Group.
These are unprecedented times. The past four hurricane seasons have each been host to at least one Category 5 monstrosity. Not so long ago, major hurricanes were a rarity. The devastation wrought from the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season is still fresh as new wounds are made with each passing season.
According to Mark Maloney, Executive Chairman of the Preconco Group, “One thing we need to deal with in the Caribbean is to shore up infrastructure to deal with flooding. Flooding creates the most damage from hurricanes.”
“We’ve learned from seeing the effects of these hurricanes and the more recent intensity of them. It’s no longer about designing and hoping that in a ten year cycle you may get a bad storm so you can take a chance in not designing and building for a Category 5. They days of that are done,” said Maloney.
Now is the era of designing for high wind intensity and flood mitigation. For Maloney, “We need to have injection wells for our road infrastructure. Because the Caribbean is developing and properties are turning into hotels and homes, it means that all of that water is being transferred into the road networks. That’s why we get flooding because the land isn’t absorbing water anymore”.
“The government of Dominica has done significant work to improve the flow of the rivers and the backing up of the mouth of the rivers so that in the event of a flood the water will run off and run into the ocean,” he added.
“The flatter the island the worse it will be. Maria dropped 50 thousand gallons of water a minute. You put that on some of the islands that don’t have mountains and it will absolutely do what has happened to the Bahamas. The land becomes an ocean,” he continued.
An artist’s impression of the condo-style residential units that are being built by the Preconco Group.
The Preconco Group of companies have the experience in spades. In all of their manufacturing processes — roofing systems, windows and doors, cement, precast buildings and developments and infrastructure — “We are very proud to be able to create sustainable developments,” said Maloney.
Maloney went on to forewarn that without taking serious efforts to improve infrastructure, only heartache can follow. “If not, we will find ourselves talking about devastation when we could put things in place,” he said.
“One of the things that we’re going to be challenged with in the region is insurance. The more devastation we get means more claims on insurance. That makes for less opportunity to be able to insure property and higher prices. Insurance companies will be looking to ensure that people that they are insuring are building with standards as an absolute must,” added Maloney.
The progress in Dominica has been significant. Rebuilding houses, flood mitigation, the cleaning up of the country, and shoring up for the next possible hurricane or heavy rains has made a positive impact.
According to Maloney, “There’s a lot more to do. Dominica is only a country of 70 thousand people. It’s a relatively small economy but it’s quite a large island. You can see there is a significant difference between when the hurricane hit and today”.
After being the first into the fray and two years into the trial, Mark Maloney asserts that, “Our group of companies are committed to helping when people are in a time of need. The Rock Hard Cares Foundation exists to help countries around the Caribbean. We’re not going in and putting a plaster on a sore. We go in assessing the situation and really working to put sustainable measures in place to restore for long term benefit”.
This article is sponsored by Preconco/Rock Hard Cement.