Fancy development programme being created by Government
February 3, 2015
Fancy development programme being created by Government

In the aftermath of the Rock Gutter tragedy, in which seven students from Fancy died and several others were injured, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is developing a programme to address many of the needs of the northernmost village of St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

Last week, in his 2015 Budget presentation, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves outlined plans by the Government for a Restoration and Development programme for Fancy.

He noted that this programme will be rolled out in collaboration with the families that were directly affected by the tragedy which took place on January 12, 2015, the community of Fancy and civil society.

“Initiatives already being undertaken by our Government in this programme include the delivery of counselling services to all the families and survivors on an ongoing basis; the focused attention to the health recovery of the injured; the speedy provision to the surviving students of all the basic materials required to resume their education: uniforms, books, stationery, school supplies, laptops, tablets, and the like,” the Prime Minister said.

Also, Gonsalves noted that a 30-seater bus, which will be run by the State, has already been ordered and is scheduled to arrive in about three weeks time. Other initiatives rolled out under this project include the consecration of a new cemetery, where the five students whose bodies were recovered were buried on January 25 and the delivery of other individual support services.

“Each of the surviving students who do not as yet receive a monthly support payment will receive one, sufficient for their education and sustenance. This is of utmost urgency. Moreover, a commitment is being given by the Government, to each student, to finance his or her further education and training at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College and beyond, at the University of the West Indies, or at a comparable cost at any other university, provided, of course, that the student meets the requisite matriculation qualifications for entry to college or university,” he said.

Gonsalves said the development programme will encompass upgrades for the village of Fancy itself, which will be implemented with urgency.

“This programme will include physical infrastructure facilities, such as village roads and footpaths; housing; sustainable livelihood projects; and improvements in the facilities for primary and adult education, health services, sports and culture. These facilities have been upgraded over the past several years, but more is still left to be done,” he said.

Considerations are also being made for the construction of a fitting memorial to be erected for the students who died. Gonsalves, who seemed to agree with this idea, noted that a memorial is also being considered for the 12 individuals that perished in the 2013 Christmas Eve disaster.(BK)