Sixty-day plan to speed up Barbuda rebuild

- Advertisement -

The government on Friday disclosed that a 60-day plan has been developed to accelerate the rebuilding of Barbuda and the resettlement of its population.
This was announced by Information Minister Melford Nicholas at this week’s post-Cabinet media briefing.
Nicholas said a professor from the University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine was invited to Cabinet on Thursday to share his proposals on a recovery plan for Barbuda.
The minister added that it was agreed that both
a short-term and a long-term plan must be crafted. The short-term plan would focus upon the next 60 days, during which time the object would be to make habitable those government institutions and those homes that were not severely damaged.
However, Nicholas said that while telephone service, electricity and water have been restored to the island, inspections need to be done.
“The APUA has already indicated that in each instance they would have to make a fresh application such that the audit and evaluation of the internal wiring and plumbing for these homes would be tested before they are connected back to the public grid,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nicholas said that despite the number of volunteers helping relief workers, the labour available falls short of what is required to deal with the task ahead.
“Given the urgency of the 60-day challenge, it’s certainly going to be beyond the scope of that number of persons to be able to effect the outcome that we’re looking for. So an invitation will be issued shortly for other persons from Antigua, other artisans. We need to expand the workforce.”
According to Nicholas, at least one donor has indicated a willingness to pay the workers. The call for workers is expected to go out within the next week with recruitment to be done through the office of the National Solid Waste Management Authority.
And on the issue of solid waste, Nicholas said the government would be “obliged” to go into private homes to clean them should their owners continue to ignore calls to return to the island and start the process.
Building supplies are also becoming an issue, Nicholas revealed, as work starts on the houses that suffered the least damage.
“There is still a gap in terms of the type of material that will be required to complete all of the restoration to these level one and level two homes, but it obviously has to do with some supply issues in the local market here and as we continue to grapple with the logistics of having the material shipped over to Barbuda.”  
Meanwhile, the long-term plan would tackle the rebuilding of 400 homes that fall within levels three and four – severely damaged or destroyed – but it was noted that the cost of completing both the short-term and the long-term plan will likely exceed the monies raised to date.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

eighteen + twelve =