Council head says Barbuda shelters are not ready

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By Carlena Knight

Chairman of the Barbuda Council Wade Burton is refuting claims made by the Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) Philmore Mullin and Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, Lionel “Max” Hurst, both of whom have stated that the shelters in Barbuda are up to par and equipped for any upcoming storms.

Barbuda Community Complex (photo courtesy Wade Burton)

Burton went a step further in stating his confusion as to why the officials would just blatantly try to deceive the public as the main shelter, the Barbuda Community Centre, has been in disrepair for over a year.

Barbuda Community Complex roof (photo courtesy Wade Burton)

In a press release issued by NODS, three buildings — the Barbuda Sports Complex, Barbuda Community Centre and the Sir McChesney George Secondary School were named as hurricane shelters.

“I heard Max Hurst say that the buildings were repaired but I mean it’s far from the truth. I don’t know why people need to tell lies. I mean if a hurricane came it would be obvious that what they said would not be true,” Burton said yesterday.

“If they want information, they can contact us and we can tell them what it is, but the fact is the Barbuda Community Complex, the shelter that NODS mentioned, for almost a year is not repaired.”

Burton went into further detail on the state of the complex.

“The roof was damaged. The bathrooms and windows were damaged. The door is blown out still. We have a few plywood blocking it off but if a storm pass it will be easily blown away, so when they want to go on the air and give the impression that everything is alright in Barbuda, I take offense.”

Burton who was seemingly upset over the matter called on the relevant bodies to ‘desist’ from spreading false information.

“If they cannot find proper shelters, then just please desist … there is no reason for them to lie about proper shelters and go on national TV worldwide. We are trying to get things done over here and if a storm does come, we will have to find proper places to put people,” the Barbuda Council Chairman said.

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