Barbudans complain about rebuilding process

Aerial view of Barbuda

Barbudans are becoming more and more frustrated about the slow progress of the rehabilitation process more than year after category 5 Hurricane Irma left behind a trail of destruction.

They are bemoaning the lack of electricity and water from the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), telecommunications service from the major telecoms companies in Antigua and Barbuda, and the absence of a fully functioning hospital, police station and other essential services.

Chairman of the Barbuda Council, Wade Burton, pointed out in an interview on Monday that the Council has taken on the responsibility of repairing homes to make residents a bit more comfortable, while at the same time, they are also helping with repairs to other important buildings.

He said that they are doing the best they can with very little resources.

“We are out there helping people who are in need of help. There are two programmes that will be coming on stream very shortly – one funded by the European Union and another agency to assist in the rebuilding of homes,” Burton said.

The Council is also working to provide more suitable arrangements for police officers who are still carrying out their duties in Barbuda.

While admitting that that is not the responsibility of the Council, Burton said they are doing their best to ensure life returns to normalcy in Barbuda.

“So far, it has been working well for the police. They are not at home, they are not fully comfortable, but they are in a better position now,” Burton added.

Following the passage of the storm in 2017, several donor agencies came forward to lend a helping hand in the rebuilding process, however based on reports from several individuals, the work is far from complete or satisfactory.