BVI News

.

Pickering sidesteps questions about post-hurricane food shortage

Dr Kedrick Pickering

Minister responsible for agriculture Dr Kedrick Pickering has sidestepped questions in parliament about whether he is to be blamed for the territory’s food issues following the September 2017 hurricanes.

Several days after Hurricane Irma smashed into the territory, residents complained of a food shortage as well as the difficulties they experienced in acquiring necessary relief supplies.

While grilling government ministers for answers on Thursday (March 8), Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie asked Dr Pickering ‘if he dropped the ball pre-Hurricane Irma’, causing residents to go without food after the disaster.

Dr Pickering did not give a direct answer.

“Whatever my responsibilities were, and I didn’t fulfil those responsibilities, then obviously I dropped the ball,” the agriculture minister said.

Unfavourable reports on relief distribution

There were a number of reports that distribution supplies were being hoarded in containers rather than being distributed to needy residents after the hurricanes.

Other reports were that persons put in charge of distribution were unpleasant to residents who needed relief supplies.

An independent audit was carried out on relief distribution in the British Virgin Islands. However, Government is yet to release the findings of that report.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

23 Comments

Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Hmmm says:

    …I can’t wait for election time for him to either be voted out or be stripped of his portfolio…

  2. Travesty says:

    Get rid of this man D7

  3. Sam the man says:

    was he distracted planning his Marijuana project?

  4. WHAT.. says:

    The Government is yet to release MANY MANY MANY reports, statements, audits, etc. This is nothing new……..
    “”An independent audit was carried out on relief distribution in the British Virgin Islands. However, Government is yet to release the findings of that report.””

  5. Nonsense says:

    He sidestepped the question because he doesn’t have an answer. He and his family were great post Irma so it didn’t matter … NDP needs to go!!!!

  6. Resident says:

    Town or the 4th district was getting all the help. They were getting everything.

    • Um says:

      A single person and persons with a family was getting the same amount of stuff in the 7th district. They used to hide all the nice stuff for themselves and friends. Everything used to be distributed in town and surrounding area even some business used to distributed in town alone. A lot of people who did not lose anything were the ones getting more stuff than those who roif went

      • Anonymous says:

        So true. They use to open the buckets and take what they want from them and keep the rest for themselves and friends there by the supermarket…

    • Um says:

      A single person and persons with a family was getting the same amount of stuff in the 7th district. They used to hide all the nice stuff for themselves and friends. Everything used to be distributed in town and surrounding area even some business used to distributed in town alone. A lot of people who did not lose anything were the ones getting more stuff than those who roof went.

  7. Well sah says:

    Dis man tryin to starve we?

  8. Go back to cliniv says:

    This man has been in office all these years and the country is…

  9. Truth Sayer says:

    I am really tired of all the blame game and blatant ungratefulness by the people in this country. What food shortage was there in this country after Hurricane Irma? It that were the case then we should have many deaths! People stop this foolishness! Be careful with the words that come out of your mouths!

    If we had such food shortage how come so much of the food were sent off the island by some to their families on other Caribbean Islands?

    • Silent says:

      That’s the problem right there. The people who got the food didn’t really need it. The way in which the distributions were handled was faulty.

  10. Dish says:

    The look of this man alone tells you something about him.

  11. One word says:

    Arrogance

  12. Brad Boynes says:

    Seize the time. This brother is not into Agriculture or fishing or labour or anything.

  13. BVI people says:

    We have to thank Hon. Fahie for being the voice for the voiceless and bring to light the many issues that this government had intend to keep hidden.

  14. E. Leonard says:

    Who to blame for the supposed national food shortage after Hurricanes Irma and Maria ? Was it the responsibility of Department of Agriculture or another agency? What are the roles and responsibilities of the Ag. Dept.? I see the Ag. Dept RR as promoting agriculture to lower the food import bill and to enhance food security. This RR is a work in progress. Who should be responsible for feeding nation after a disaster?

    Government should make arrangements to feed first responders and other essential employees who have to work before, during and after a hurricane or other disasters. As part of disaster preparedness planning, residents should be encouraged to procure and store 3-5 days of non perishable food items (including water). In regards to feeding the nation after a disaster, the responsibility should be assigned to a specific department(s). More than one responsible department is normally not effective and does not operate smoothly.

    The department should be staffed and funded to meet the mission requirements. To make this happened, support teams should be identified and assigned to the dept. Additionally, structurally sound facilities should be identified to store supplies and equipment and to housed staff during a disaster. The food supplies should procured and stored well ahead of a disaster occurring. Suggest procuring meal ready to eat (MRE) food items. These items typically have a shell life of 3-5 years.

    Further, small indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts to supply food after a disaster can be issued to either internal or external contractors. Further, the tasked agency should also be responsible for accepting, storing, inventorying, accounting for, and distributing donated items to needy residents.

  15. Sad says:

    I am disappointed with Dr. Pickering’s response to Mr. Fahie’s question, if that was his actual response. We have an obligation to our voters to always be upright and honest with whatever situation we face. If Dr. Pickering actually said that, it shows disrespect for accountability. Respect would be earned if he outright admitted his lack of proper action. It is not too late to give us a full report on what went wrong and what measures are being implemented to ensure it doesn’t happen again. I feel the way the residents, weather BVIlanders or expats from all countries living in the BVI, were assessed with the distribution process was awful. Everyone living here was faced with the same dilemma needing food and water. To have distribution volunteers use their discretion in a biased way was plain and simple unwarranted and embarrassing. I pray we are never faced with a devastation of this magnitude again, but if we are, I pray we will open our hearts to everyone and stop with the segregation.

  16. local says:

    You cant blame him for a country in trouble . its the entire ndp

  17. Real talk says:

    The person at the Cane Garden Bay Methodist Church did a great job of distributing the food supplies after hurricane Irma great job Guys Mr. SMITH and his crew

Leave a Comment