More Barbudans to be sent home

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A month after Barbudans staying at the Nurses Hostel were asked to vacate and return home, the head of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), has hinted that those currently residing at the National Technical Training Centre (NTTC) could be next.
Director of NODS Philmore Mullin made the disclosure yesterday while outlining that the overall aim is to reduce the number of Barbudans who are staying here at the government’s expense.
About 40-plus Barbudans remain at the facility which is located on Nugent’s Avenue.
“The intent is to see how we can shrink the numbers by the end of this month and hopefully we would like to close the NTTC as well. Half of the people who were evacuated from Barbuda last year have returned home, while some have sought to rent properties or stay with friends or families in Antigua,” Mullin said.
He said that NODS, through government, continues to prioritise the repairs of buildings that can be repaired immediately. He also pointed out that there are shelters on Barbuda that are equipped to accommodate nationals who are desirous of returning home.
“Everybody must have known that the evacuation shelter situation cannot continue forever. We are at a place now where we feel relatively comfortable that people can start going back,” Mullin said.
He also explained that there may be some individual cases which the agency would have to tackle when the need arises.
At the end of June, most of the Barbudans staying at the Nurses Hostel were asked to leave and to return home as the government announced plans to close that shelter, while those with special circumstances were relocated to the NTTC.
The renovated Nurses Hostel was also closed due to damage to the properties at the hands of some Barbudans who were staying there.

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