Unfair Distribution Of Relief Supplies--Residents Bemoan

Melissa Edwards, Senior Journalist | October 12, 2017 6:11 am MDT
Photo Credit: Provided
A month and days counting after being devastated by hurricane Irma, many residents are complaining that while hundreds of relief supplies are coming into the Territory, some persons are yet to receive any aid.

Residents have charged that the relief is not reaching those who are in need, claiming that those who are in charge are showing favoritism and making assumptions that some are wealthy and not qualified as recipients.

One resident related that she walked down to the church in Cane Garden Bay seeking water and supplies, but was told to return on Friday or Saturday.

"The need is urgent! Buying water with no income when there are thousands of bottles being unloaded as I walked past the Festival Grounds (in Road Town) yesterday hurt my heart," the concerned resident of the Second District lamented.

Other than the basic necessities, persons have complained that while there are hundreds without a roof, there are some persons driving around with tarps on damaged vehicles.

"How wealthy are our sons? Apparently too wealthy according to the persons our Government brought in to determine who are entitled to receive aid. So BVI people in a nutshell, we are not worthy enough for aid as we are already too wealthy," another resident said.

Another bottleneck is said to be the continued lack of communication on the locations of distribution centres in respective districts.

"Containers upon containers of supplies like those black water tanks, building supplies, etc. are being stored on the Festival Grounds and given to a selected few or Ministers of Government," another resident alleged.

There are a number of relief supplies being donated to the BVI, including palettes of clothing, canned foods, juices, drinking water and tarpaulins.

Just this week, Aeropost donated tarpaulins for distribution as part of the ongoing relief efforts and joint partnership between the Department of Disaster Management/National Emergency Operations Centre and Rotary.

In relation to housing relief aid, Government said yesterday, October 11, that the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Rotary Clubs are currently finalising the criteria for the housing relief programme.

Premier, Hon. Dr. D. Oralndo Smith said that the first set of individuals that will be addressed are persons in the shelters and persons sheltering with family and friends.

"The registration process for persons to apply for housing relief assistance will be announced shortly," Government stated.

Government, through the Government Information Service (GIS), has been issuing distribution schedules from time to time via its Facebook page and also on DDM's Facebook page.
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