The British Virgin Islands are now better prepared for natural disasters following the provision of a two million euro grant to rehabilitate ten emergency shelters.
The funding will also provide emergency relief supplies to these shelters, training for the public and private sectors in resilience, safe and green smart building strategies, and standards and training in shelter management inclusive of social care.
The BVI's Health Minister Calvin Malone said the first phase of emergency repairs has been geared at ensuring that most of the buildings were rendered watertight in order to prevent further deterioration and restore a basic level of functioning within available resources.
Malone further said these works include roofing, the installation of windows and doors, repairs of electrical and plumbing systems, kitchen cabinets and perimeter fencing as well as the painting of interior and exterior walls.
Governor Augustus Jaspert said the project is not just about repairs but about rebuilding better.
“This is about taking our shelters to a stronger standard and here’s the opportunity for our territory to receive assistance in improving its shelter management programme to incorporate PAHO smart building guidelines to meet the goals of our build back better stronger approach,” the governor said.
While no specific timeline to the start of the project was given, the governor said it is expected to be completed over the next two years.