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Construction begins today to replace homes

Construction begins today to replace homes

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Beginning this morning, Tuesday, November 2, construction work will begin to replace the dozens of houses which were destroyed during the passage of the category 1 Hurricane Tomas on Saturday, October 30.{{more}}

This disclosure was made yesterday, Monday, November 1, by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at a press conference held at Cabinet Room.

“At 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, we intend in every single community, in every single village, to begin the construction of at least one house,” he said.

Gonsalves also said that the distribution of construction material will also begin, so that persons whose houses were damaged, could begin to help themselves.

“Then we will seek to distribute to deserving persons, materials, for work to be done and we will assist as far as possible with getting some of the work done, but we have to proceed with great rapidity, so that many persons have to get on with helping themselves too; because we have to get the persons who are in the schools out of the schools,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the number of damaged homes had risen to over 1,200. There are at present 1,194 persons in shelters around the country.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that the Government had placed an immediate EC$1 million order for lumber, galvanize and other hardware, at local establishments.

He however warned against getting into struggles about who received help before whom.

“Let’s not quarrel about that…. Let us go forward in unity,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the Physical Infrastructure Committee, which will oversee the rebuilding work, will be headed by the Director General of Finance and Planning and will include the Minister of Housing and Lands and the Minister of Transport and Works, as well as several technical persons.

He said, during a nationwide address on Sunday evening, the committee will send out teams to get the names of “every single individual who has had his or her house damaged or destroyed.”

Once the names have been collected, the extent of the damage to each person’s house has to be ascertained so that the resources can be mobilized and the plans put in place to assist these persons, the Prime Minister said.

He however made it clear that he was speaking of structural damage to homes.

“I am not talking now about consequential loss, which they would have suffered to their furniture, to their refrigerator, to their appliances of one kind or another, to their clothing, to their beds; because a lot of that has taken place. I am only addressing, for the moment …, the issue of getting a roof over people’s heads,” Gonsalves said.

“This is going to take a phenomenal amount of mone. We don’t know until we get the actual details of each individual’s damage what the total cost of that will be, but it obviously is going to be substantial,” the Prime Minister said.

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