Don’t go to NEMO for supplies if you haven’t sustained storm damage – PM Gonsalves
October 7, 2016
Don’t go to NEMO for supplies if you haven’t sustained storm damage – PM Gonsalves

People whose homes were not damaged as a consequence of the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew should refrain from requesting building material from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and that their homes be assessed.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, during a press conference on Tuesday at Cabinet Room, said such requests place a strain on NEMO personnel.{{more}}

“I want to ask people please, if you didn’t have any damage as a consequence of the storm, don’t report to NEMO that you need building material and people must come and look at your house.”

Gonsalves said people were possibly making such requests because they had heard about the recent arrival in the country of a shipment of building material.

On Saturday, September 24, the Government received building material valued at EC$4.5 million for the Lives to Live programme.

“Not because you are hearing that a boat has come with building materials you must do that, because the problem which you create is that the personnel which we have, we want to respond to everybody. But a lot of time when we respond…they are responding to persons who have no damage as a consequence of Storm Matthew. They do have needs and I suspect this is one way in which to get themselves further into the system, so that they can get their own housing needs properly addressed,” Gonsalves stated.

The Prime Minister said that during the passage of the storm, 483 persons took refuge in emergency shelters, among them, 32 female residents of the Lewis Punnett Home, who were relocated to the Fairhall Government School.

He said the Ministry of Health is in the process of finding temporary housing for the elderly women for about a week, so that the roof of that section of the Lewis Punnett Home can be repaired.

Additionally, four families are in need of emergency housing at Campden Park, Kingstown Hill, Byera and Belair. Gonsalves noted that most of these emergency cases have been placed in rented accommodation, but negotiations are still taking place to find housing for the family in Belair.

Three houses, at Redemption Sharpes, Ottley Hall and Buddy Gutter, were completely destroyed.

One hundred and two houses were damaged from landslides and flooding, 79 of which are in St Vincent, 22 in Bequia and one on Union Island.

Twenty-five retaining walls were destroyed and four public buildings were flooded.

There was approximately $1.4 million in damage to agriculture, of which $1.2 million relates to the banana industry.

The Prime Minister said there are still areas that assessors have not yet visited because of insufficient time and inaccessibility to the areas.

Additionally there was approximately $624,000 in damage to national parks and recreational sites, the lion’s share of this being

the damage done to the road leading to the Dark View falls in Chateaubelair. (CM)