NODS boss does not agree with additional stipend for Barbudans to clean-up

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“It is unfortunate that we now have to resort to paying people to clean up their own country, to clean up the island. I am not for it, but these international agencies have their procedures in place and if that was what the money was solicited for then they have to use it.”
That was how Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Philmore Mullin, responded yesterday when asked by OBSERVER media for his opinion on cash-for-work being offered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Barbudans to clear the island of debris, which the agency said could become missiles in the event of another storm striking the island.
In stressing that he does not agree with the soon to be launched programme, Mullin said it is quite unfortunate that donor funding is being used to pay for the clean-up.
A NODS press release issued to the media on Tuesday announced the cash-for-work initiative. The programme comes at a time when government officials are lambasting Barbudans whom they say are being paid by the Barbuda Council, but are refusing to return to the island to contribute to the recovery efforts.
Following the passage of Hurricane Irma last September, Barbudans have benefited from aid from local, regional and international donor agencies.
A voucher programme for Barbudan residents who have been living outside of the shelters in Antigua and also on the island was the latest initiative to be announced this past week.
This is a U.S. $50,000 initiative of the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDEMA) and Caricom, called the Caricom/CDEMA Legacy Project.
As part of the programme, 250 families will benefit and will be able to purchase items from three supermarkets – two in Antigua and one in Barbuda.
The monies were pledged to the displaced population of Barbuda at the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference in the Bahamas last year and beneficiaries were asked to contact NODS at 462-4206 to find out whether their names are on the list.

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