January 7, 2014
An estimated $45 million for relocation of homes of affected persons – PM Gonsalves

Approximately 300 of the 495 homes of persons affected by the Christmas disaster should be relocated.{{more}}

At a press conference yesterday at Cabinet Room, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that this number may increase, since the assessment of damage to homes is not yet complete.

He said that relocating these homes could cost in the region of $45 million and that arrangements are already being made to have materials purchased for the immediate repairing and rebuilding.

Some companies, he indicated, have extended credit lines to the Government.

“I have ordered from Jamaica… $4.5 million worth of materials. Tankweld is also making a contribution; they will tell us the full extent of that contribution. So, I expect that coming in from Jamaica in excess of $5 million of materials.

“On the local level, we are going to purchase well in excess of that $4.5 million….

“I have spoken to the galvanize factory here, the Eastern Caribbean Metals, and they are prepared to give us credit up to $2 million, from the time that you purchase…..

“Then the other galvanize operation, which is Browne’s Hardware, they will provide a million dollars with similar credit facilities.”

Gonsalves also added that another hardware supplier is prepared to give $1.5 million credit, and also a contribution in materials, at an amount to be determined.

“Another hardware dealer says that they have to talk to the other persons involved, but they will give concessions, and yet another hardware dealer, they will provide credit up to $500,000, for a three-month period.

“So, there are significant materials which are mobilized.”

The Prime Minister said that a challenge that will be faced, with the relocation of homes, is the willingness of residents to be moved to new locations.

He said that this is a challenge that has to be dealt with in conjunction with the people to be relocated, and this may take some time.

“There are some people, where they are, they are not willing to move, and some people will tell you I want to move, but I don’t want to move from North Leeward, or I don’t want to move from South Rivers… but you may not have a sufficiency of lands in those specific areas….” Gonsalves noted.(JJ)