July 24, 2012
Groundbreaking begins soon for new houses of flash flood families

A ground breaking ceremony is to be held this Thursday for a project which will see four houses being built for families who lost their homes in floods in April 2011.{{more}}

The houses are to be built through a collaboration between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Mustique Charitable Trust.

Earlier this year the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines drew to the attention of the Mustique Charitable Trust the plight of four families who were still living in the Georgetown Community Shelter since the catastrophic floods on April 12, 2011. The families were unable to move out of the Shelter, due to severe economic constraints.

The Trust agreed to provide a grant of EC$190,416.00 to the Ministry of Housing to build four new homes at a cost of EC$47,604.00 each for the Jacobs, Abbott, Jack and Delicia families, on land owned by the Government at Langley Park. The money has been sourced from the Trust’s Disaster Relief Fund.

This fund was created as a response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Tomas in October 2011. Due to generous donations from homeowners and visitors to Mustique, working with the Government through the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), the Housing & Land Development Corporation (HLDC), the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Republic of China’s Agricultural Mission, the Trust spent EC$1.5 million on disaster relief. The focus was to provide assistance to the Hurricane Tomas stricken families as rapidly as possible, so that they could live in safe, secure homes and also to provide assistance to the farming communities which had been built, 72 houses repaired and 120 farmers had received seedlings to assist with income generation.

This fund provided a further EC$200,000 to assist the Government with replacing vital infrastructure damaged by the floods in April 2011 in the Windward area.

“However, the focus of the Trust is also to improve the opportunities for children, young people and vulnerable adults while supporting the development of sustainable local communities throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines,” a release from the Trust said.

“The Georgetown All Stars Steel Pan Orchestra, part of the Government’s Pan Against Crime Initiative, which is providing entertainment for this ceremony, was the beneficiary of an MCT grant of EC$50,000 in 2011 – 2012. This grant was used to purchase additional steel pans and other equipment, enabling more children to join the orchestra. Georgetown All Stars played rousing Christmas music at our fundraising event in Mustique on December 23rd. Their music and enthusiasm delighted all our guests. The Trust thanks the Georgetown All Stars for attending this Ground Breaking Ceremony”.

The release said “ The Trustees look forward to returning to Langley Park site in September when the four houses will have been built by the Housing and Land Development Corporation.

“The keys will be handed over to the four families who will then be in a position to return to normal family life.

“The Trust is pleased to partner with and provide support to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the Langley Park Housing Project. The Trustees hope that the support from the Trust will demonstrate its willingness to assist with the development of sustainable communities throughout the country,” the release said.