PM calls for public to be  understanding in recovery
November 2, 2010
PM calls for public to be understanding in recovery

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has asked the nation not to expect perfection in the next weeks, as they seek to rebuild the houses, structures and agriculture damaged by the passing of Hurricane Tomas.{{more}}

Speaking at a press conference on Monday November 1, 2010 at Cabinet Room, Gonsalves stated that the nation must approach the rehabilitation process with as much urgency as possible. “We are not going to have in this week or in the following weeks, perfection,” he stated.

According to Gonsalves, two committees have been set up to deal with the damage to houses and agriculture. The physical infrastructure committee is headed by the Director General of Finance and Planning and the committee responsible for the rehabilitation of the agriculture will be headed by Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel.

Gonsalves stated that as of yesterday, 1,200 homes were reported damaged and dozens destroyed, mostly in the north west region of the country. He added that an order totaling EC $1 million worth of galvanize, ply board and other building supplies was made to begin the rebuilding process. He stated that the process will start today, as early as six am around the country, and officials will begin distributing materials and helping persons wherever they can.

Estimating the destruction of agricultural crops to be $67 million, Gonsalves said that mostly all banana crops have been destroyed and persons have reported the destruction of pigeon pea plants, green houses, as well as animals among other things.

He added that he has requested the financial help of several institutions. According to Gonsalves, USAID has given emergency aid in the sum of US$50,000. He added that an application for an emergency loan from the World Bank is currently being prepared, as well an application for money remaining from a rural transformation grant totaling $7.7 million Euros from the European Union. He further stated that he has contacted Taiwan in relation to offering assistance beyond the US$200,000 which they have made immediately available.

Gonsalves also stated that EC$1.1 million from the Catastrophic Risk Insurance will be obtained as well as US$250,000 from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will be sent through CDEMA to NEMO. He added that a request was sent to the CDB for the remainder of the money from the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), a total of EC$5.5 million.