–President Ali says
PRESIDENT, Dr Irfaan Ali has said that his government is working on devising a comprehensive post-flood package that will be delivered to every flood-affected community.
President Ali made this announcement while speaking during a ceremony organised for the handing over of 30 tractors to indigenous communities in regions One, Two, Four, Five, Six, and Nine, at the Hinterland Scholarship Dormitory, on Wednesday. The Head of State told the toshaos and representatives from the regions that in addition to resources being transferred to the communities at the end of last year: “We are now working on a comprehensive investment package, a post-flood package that would be delivered to every community in every region that has been affected by the floods.” He reiterated that the government is committed to ensuring that farmers get back to their lands, and will continue working with them and the sector to restore its productivity. This commitment, he noted, will be further enhanced with the recently-approved $10 billion supplementary provision.
The President also explained that the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is finalising a report to show the real value, in terms of dollars, of the destruction and displacement caused by the recent floods across the country.
When the assessment is completed, the government will reorganise and reprioritise expenditure to target the most severely affected communities and farmers, to bring direct benefits.
“So, I want to assure you and farmers all across the country, and this is not only for farmers; the assessment will also cover households, small businesses and community losses. As you’re aware, the infrastructure in many communities have been severely affected, the mining sector and forestry sector have all been severely affected, so we are now completing that assessment and, on the completion, those investments will have to be made. So today [Wednesday], as we deliver on this promise, I assure you that better days are ahead, more vibrant days are ahead,” President Ali affirmed. He also reiterated that the government is committed to working with residents from the communities on developing strategies, plans and projects that will directly address the needs and priorities of the respective communities. The President said that such plans and programmes cannot be developed in a back office of any ministry, but must be developed with collaboration from the people and leaders in the communities so that ownership can be created. (Office of the President)