Government Will Leave No Stone Unturned To Assist Persons Affected By Tomas

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Some three months after the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas, Government continues to bring relief to persons whose homes were damaged.

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, gave this assurance during a briefing at Government Headquarters yesterday, where he threw some light on the ongoing recovery efforts coordinated by his Ministry.

Stating that the cost of repairs would be in the region of 37 million dollars, the Attorney General stressed that it was his Ministry’s intention to intervene and offer assistance wherever it was proven that the damage to property was as a result of the fury of Hurricane Tomas.

He also took the opportunity to give an update of the damage sustained during the storm’s passage last October.

"As of January 11, 2011, there have been 1200 reports to damage of uninsured homes, to which 927 assessments have been made, thus far.?? In terms of the parishes mostly impacted, it would seem from the assessments that St. Lucy sustained the most damage with 264 assessments; St. Philip with 103; St. Andrew 85; and Christ Church 80," he revealed.

While he assured Barbadians that repairs and rebuilding would occur in a speedy fashion, he said it was more likely that these projects would be completed by the end of October.

"Based on the rate at which we are going, I would think that we would not finish until the end of October, and that is assuming rains don’t come and we can continue to work at the pace we are working at.?? So, relief is on its way and I am asking persons to be patient and bare with us," he urged.

Mr. Brathwaite continued: "What we want at the end of the day is to ensure that there is integrity in the process; so, it will take a little longer in that regard because it’s not a case where we are just going out there and rebuilding… in fact, we have hired workmen who know what they are doing.?? Furthermore, we have agreed that we are not just going to rebuild a home in the same condition it was in; so that, if we found a home that did not have hurricane straps, we will provide hurricane straps, because at the end of the day we have to do the best job possible," stressed the Minister.

According to him, the Civil Military Coordinating Mechanism (CIMIC), which comprises artisans from the NHC, MTW and the BDF, presently has nine teams of five workmen of various skills in place, and, so far, 50 projects across the island had been completed.??

"Naturally, in a case like this, someone has to be first and someone has to be last.?? So, we will not get to everyone immediately; however, we want to approach the most severe cases first, and in some instances, we have been experiencing challenges."

The Minister also pointed out there was a significant amount of debris that had to be removed, not only from along the roads but from around houses. He also made a call for "a bit more self help" to assist government in its clean-up efforts.????tblackman@barbados.gov.bb

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