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Great things happening in Bequia

Great things happening in Bequia


by Denika Compton Fri, Oct 28. 2011

With its theme “Linking Groups, Empowering People”, the Northern Grenadines Community Development Inc (NGCDI) has proven the critics wrong again.{{more}}

Ronnie Gregg, member of the NGCDI, said that the group realized that Paget Farm, the largest community on the island of Bequia, was in need of a community library.

He said that the decision was made to take a derelict building, which formerly served as the first health clinic in the community, and later as a post office, and transform it into a community library.

The NGCDI, formerly the Northern Grenadines Community Development Organization (NGCDO), was formed in 2008 as an umbrella organization for NGOs and CBOs in the Northern Grenadines. The aim of the group is to facilitate access to funding, in addition to providing accountability, good governance and monitoring of the execution of projects.

Some of the projects completed under the auspices of NGCDI include the restoration of the Paget Farm Farine Shed and construction of a well for the farine makers, the Port Elizabeth Water Project which tapped into a well and created a storage reservoir of 20,000 gallons of water to provide the community with potable quality water, and now the Paget Farm Community Library Project.

Gregg said a technical survey done by Stewart Engineering proved that the building was still structurally strong. He said that this good news motivated them to write a proposal and apply to the Australian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago for funding. He further stated that in February of this year, in response to the proposal, the Australian High Commission provided the organization with a grant of US$35,616.

According to Gregg, the NGCDI contracted the service of Mr. and Mrs. Carr and their team of workers. On January 24, 2011, work started. The restoration work included the removal of filth and debris. Some of the walls had to be reinforced and re-plastered. All existing wooden structures, including the roof and floor had to be removed and replaced because of termite infestation. The area was treated to eradicate the termites. Tons of debris from neighboring construction sites, which had been deposited in and around the building were removed.

He said that the interior of the building was arranged into three sections—the main hall, the multimedia room, and the librarian’s office. A storage area was built above the librarian’s office, and inside the office, a counter was built to allow for computers and other equipment. The entire building was furnished with desks, tables, chairs, and counters. Filing cabinets were purchased for the office. Bookshelves were installed in the main hall. Ceiling fans were also fitted. Additionally, electrical wiring and plumbing, including installation of a water pump, were done.

Additionally, a wheelchair ramp was constructed at the entrance of the building; the front porch was renovated, with a beautiful rail and side steps installed. The damaged intricate designs on the face of the building were restored and parts of the exterior were painted. The yard was bulldozed and filled with stones of varying sizes and strengths. Two septic systems were constructed and retaining walls built at the front and back of the building. Trestle tables were built for the yard to create external work areas for students. Books, DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes and videotapes have been donated by various individuals and agencies. An application was made to the NTRC for assistance in making the area an Internet hotspot which will bring the option of ICT to the fisher-folk.

“We were required to send updates on the project, and at the end we were also required to send all original receipts to show how the monies were spent. That is accountability. I am happy to say that we were able to meet all the requirements,” Gregg said.

Gregg said that the Paget Farm Community Library is standing there today as a testimony to show that the NGCDI is committed, and that they have the ability to execute and bring to completion any project entrusted to them. Two persons were also trained to work at the library.