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BVI recovery slower than other countries, says surveyor

Valérie Martens-Monier of CARBICA

The British Virgin Islands’ recovery is less advanced than other countries that were also affected by the September 2017 hurricanes, a representative from the Caribbean Branch of the International Council on Archives (CARBICA) has said.

Paper conservation expert Valérie Martens-Monier recently concluded a damage survey on buildings and records collections in the territory and will present a report on her assessment in the coming weeks.

She said she did similar assessments in St Martin and Dominica, and has concluded that the BVI is in worst condition than those hurricane-ravaged nations.

Martens-Monier said a considerable amount of cars, buildings, and road infrastructure are still in need of repairs in the territory.

BVI’s nature is struggling

She said even nature in the BVI is taking longer to bounce back than in other countries.

“I find the nature is still pretty much struggling to get back. I’ve seen nature take over faster on other islands where there is more water.”

However, the CARBICA expert said the territory’s slower pace of recovery is not a sign that the BVI has not been proactive.

“I wasn’t there (in the BVI) exactly after the storm so I wouldn’t say you didn’t do enough. But I can imagine if you were that far (behind) it’s also because the extent [of the damage] was much larger [than other countries].

Martens-Monier visited the territory on April 14 and departs today, April 20

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

35 Comments

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  1. Laura says:

    I’m glad someone can confirm what we already know, but what are we doing to kick start the process. Hurricane season is upon us again in 42 days, what is being done to shelters, schools etc. It maybe alot but priority should be taken and dealt with swiftly, no last minute shenanigans.

  2. Albion says:

    Not too surprising. The evidence is there for everyone to see. We don’t need to go to Dominica. We just to have to go to St Thomas to see how much more quickly other places have recovered.

    Here, our politicians just squabble and bicker, trying to squeeze maximum personal advantage out of the situation. And it is only going to get worse with an election next year.

    • Love for my Country says:

      We have come a long way. What only a few are realizing is that Tortola has been hit really hard by Hurricane Irma – harder than most countries. Therefore, it will take us a bit longer than other countries to build back, especially with all the problems being experienced with insurance companies and not being able to get building material in a timely manner.

  3. Richard says:

    No Sh/t!!!! About 40 days until the next hurricane season begins and look at the place. Gov and DDM state they’re ready, what planet do they live on???? Anybody had a look at West End recently???!!!

  4. Sam the man says:

    Albion you are spot on man….its just so sad that the oldest to the youngest in the NDP have no drive, vision or positive contribution to make. Dr Smith did well to finally get the necessary agency and funding agreed despite a few irrelevant opponents but there needs to be continued consistency and effort and as you say not just for personal advantage which is exactly why the agency is needed. I just knew the BVI would lag behind even before we started to rebuild….there’s no coherent plan, priority with emergency services or ferry terminals but hey lets focus on a massive new runway and airport that nobody wants and the country doesn’t need….

    • WELL says:

      We have a serious in this place because the NDP government do not listen no one not even the governors they work with that is one of the reason the former governor leave them hang themselves now we all have to pay for their lack of wasteful spending. The ministry of communication is responsible for most of the recovery projects but we all hear through the grape vine that before the hurricanes that they had their own business going now we can not expect for things to be better because there is a lot of work in the private sector and they have problem with the cookie jar. The only way things will change is to get rid of the top ones.

  5. Phoenix says:

    Last week our business had a trailer on a boat that was sent back to Puerto Rico without unloading because the port was too full to accept it. We’ve had almost 8 months to get what should have been a priority (along with electricity, water and roads) operating efficiently so we COULD rebuild and instead, there were port layoffs.

    This is the definition of insanity.

  6. WTF says:

    I blame ndp for their poor leadership

  7. Slick says:

    This place is a joke. Govt got to go

  8. Longshanks says:

    No surprises here. Inaction and bickering is the norm.

    All around private owners are getting on with the job, while the government will only do the absolute bare minimum (and less than that in respect of schools) instead waiting and hoping for charitable donations for specific projects. Just look at the high school – so important for the future of our youth. What a joke. The BVI would have benefitted from a period of direct control. It is not mature enough to be trusted with the recovery.

  9. Ning says:

    Can’t recover because we are not in recovery mode, we in how can we get rich quick mode. No policies put in place for any kind of recovery, red tape, red tape and frustration.

  10. 200 year generation Native says:

    To our elected officials.

    The conditions at Port Purcell are a symbols of incompetency and ineffective management.

    Trained, experienced, thoughtful and resourceful management of that facility is desperately needed, and should be done by any means necessary.

    The main port of entry for all our life’s necessities should be managed like a well oiled machine.

    It is simply gross incompetence that one product has to sent back to sender due to inefficient resources at Port Purcell.

    We should be and are embarrassed, at least those of us who thinks rationally.

  11. Hero says:

    Tell me where is the alternative to NDP and I will vote for them!!!

    • WELL says:

      They are not in there for life and is people like you will keep the place down in the mud. If no one else we will ask our UK MOTHER to send some one to help us out your precious ////// turn them back and still had to beg for help.

  12. Diplomat says:

    It is no surprise that the BVI lags behind other regional sister countries. It clearly was woefully unprepared to handle a disaster of the magnitude that hurricanes Irma and Maria unleashed on the territory, causing approximately $3.6M in damages. The BVI was sluggish and did not bolt out the block with bud speed after the storms passed. It was as if it were caught flat-footed and was thrust in a daze. Is the BVI better prepared in 2018 than it was in 2017? Hurricane season is a few short weeks ago.

    Moreover, complacency was the enemy of the BVI unpreparedness for the 2017 hurricane season. It has been decades since the BVI was lambasted directly by a catastrophic hurricane. Generations of Virgin Islanders have never experienced a major hurricane. Further, in the recent past, the BVI was typically hit tangentially by a Cat 1 or 2 hurricane and the next day things are rolling and back to normal. But Hurricanes Irma and Maria changed that attitude and behaviour.

    Furthermore, the BVI, a tiny 59 square mile island chain boasts as having the highest standard of living and quality of life in the region; it has a GDP per capita of approx $42K and approx $1B GDP. Clearly, the BVI did not make good use of this annual $1B GDP. All its critical systems are in poor condition and under performing. Clearly, money alone is not enough for the territory to be top performing and a model for the rest of the region despite its small size. It needs proper and strong planning, organizing, directing, programming, budgeting……etc. It needs strong and forceful leadership to get things done.

  13. X Pat says:

    BVIslanders you have a proud history of protest so PLEASE go out and march and show your disgust with this government. Too easy to blog, and too easy for the government to ignore. March through Road Town and demand action. We need a positive action movement in 2018. Government needs to know and this cannot wait until the next election cycle with hurricane season on our doorsteps. If us X Pats were allowed a vote, sure as SH1t I would be marching by now.

    • nah says:

      checkit – one protest against one guy… no protests since yet coffers dry and no infrastructure or services to show for all the billions that came in

  14. unkown says:

    That is now true I was just in st.maarten and they are just a damaged in still in the recovery process just as us. St. Maarten Airport is no longer functioning they currently using a temporary tent building for Airport use. A lot of buildings in town and people houses still damaged. Plus the BVI got hit the hardest out of St. Maarten, Dominica, Anguilla and St. Thomas.

  15. comeback says:

    when you have firemen sitting in a damaged firestation on their phones rather than cleaning up, it says everything. Teenagers nowhere to be seen at clean-ups. we need to change attitudes

    • Excited? says:

      Could not agree more with Comeback! Attitudes have certainly changed for the worse since Hurricanes. Until they change drastically in the other better direction…. This place is in a downward spiral.

  16. Island man says:

    The government is not the only one to be blamed. Bvilanders are to dawn lazy and dependent; only awaiting the government handout. There are numerous houses and businesses where the owners have failed to repair even after getting insurance fund. Take a good look at Sophie Hole in West End. Will you blame the Government? BVI it’s time to change your mind set and get to work on your own property.
    Yes the government also need to get external help but they take time in frustrating the good people who came to our assistant with immigration and Labour issues.
    However, I will tell you this every country have 30years of prosperity. If you are negligent there will be 30years of down turn.if you think it’s a joke ask Puerto Rico. It’s the BVI turn for 30 years down hill because you talk our prosperity for granted due to corruption and bad spending. You will see the result of this economic crisis as we go.

  17. ? says:

    My landlord haven’t came and do any repairs to the apartment and still collecting his rent every month 7 months has pass and nothing.

    • @? says:

      You are not entitled to stayin anyone’s apartment for free. If there were serious damages, a reduction of the rent would be in order

  18. ReX FeRaL says:

    Seize the time.

  19. Change says:

    How do we expect to be ahead when we haven’t changed. This was a ⚠️ yet we still behave the same maybe even worse.

    We have so many young man that just want to sit idly expecting for everything to be magically done on its own. Imagine we had to bring in so many people from away when we have so many young people that could have assisted, but no we treat them like they are entitled. We need to get pass this mentality please!!!

    The government should have had their folks that could have gone into each district and do an assessment for the homes that got damaged. Then they were supposed to put their names on a list and allow them proper time to bring in things based on how terrible their damage was. Many people did not have money sitting down to go buy material and to me it seems like only the well to do citizens were able to capitalize on this time frame. This would have been an easier solution. Plus people would have respected the government for taking the time out to see their damage even though they weren’t able to help financially.

  20. BVI DID WELL! says:

    TOTALLY Disagree with this headline

    Which country that experienced a flood, and two cat 5 hurricanes within a space of 6 weeks did you compare BVI situation with.
    HOW LONG DID THEY TAKE TO RECOVER AND WHERE WERE/ARE THEY AFTER 6 months
    That Italian village wiped by the dam
    After the explosion and eruption in Yosemine park
    After Katrina
    After the gulf oil spill
    Montserrat
    Pûerto Rico after 1 hurricane
    Ireland
    Several island nations after independence
    EACH OF THEM STILL STRUGGLING TO RECOVER

  21. Anonymous says:

    Even digel took advantage of the ppeople by jacking up those ridiculous prices for a service that’s poor. They should have been more moderate and gave people who are victims of this devastation a better deal. Instead they advanged us and promising that by next year the problems would be fix. As far as I’m concerned they can’t beat us to the courts with such incompetence.

  22. Interested says:

    We indeed have come a long way,but we must do better.The port situation needs to be addressed urgently.I call upon the minister to put methods in place to have long standing goods cleared from the port.People are wasting for their material to rebuild their homes and businesses.Not enough effort being made,
    In addition,members of the HOA need to work together on recovery instead of trying to score points with the electorate for the upcoming elections.Give priority where it is due.

  23. two cents says:

    I think Tortola was hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma.

  24. Hmmm says:

    A black man said the same thing you all tear him down. A white woman said it and her words are golden. Mental slavery

  25. Craziness says:

    Hmmm, can’t you read? No thoughtful blogger agreed with what she said. She admitted she did not witness the damage first hand, so her assessment on our progress means nothing.

    Maybe the so-called black man was talking nonsense too, did you think about that? This has nothing to do with race. But you playing the victim card with so-called white people shows you are the one in mental chains, and they just love that. Rise up and improve yourself.

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