BVI News

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RDA boss concerned port workers, students still under tents

CEO of the RDA, Paul Bayley in East End this week. (BVI News photo)

CEO of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) Paul Bayley said he is concerned students, as well as Customs and Immigration officials, are still operating under tents now 10 months after the 2017 hurricanes.

Describing what he observed since arriving in the territory, the RDA boss said Customs and Immigration officers based at certain ports of entry in the territory are under tents using rocks to keep their paper documents from being blown away by the wind.

Bayley, who is no stranger to disaster recovery, said the RDA’s plan is now to tackle ‘one damaged school or building at a time’ and get persons removed from under tents.

“We are going to do something about it,” he told members of the media during his a site visit in East End on Thursday.

Here to help

Bayley said he took on the job as head of the RDA because he is interested in advancing the BVI’s recovery efforts.

He arrived in the territory on Monday.

“I have been involved in this kind of stuff before, and when I saw the advertisement [for the post of CEO], I saw it as a real opportunity to carry on,” he said.

Bayley has been described as a development expert who has worked as a civil servant, military officer, and investment banker.

He is also said to have worked in nations such as the Fiji Islands, England, New Zealand, Australia, and sections of Africa.

Notably, he also led the recovery in the Fiji Islands following a category-five cyclone that severely devastated those islands in 2016.

He will be leading the RDA’s five-year mandate to manage the territory’s recovery process set out in government’s recovery plan.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.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. resident says:

    its shameful how the government has treated its people

    17
    10
    • Mr. Hodge says:

      I absolutely agree! The conditions they are working in are inhumane and are against the labor code…st. John lost their building as well but they are currently using a trailer that has been converted to an air conditioned office. No reason why we couldn’t have done the same!

  2. Kudos says:

    Welcome and thank you Sir!

    36
    2
    • A PROUD BVISLANDER says:

      Words cannot express our appreciation for the determination and expertise you have brought to us to help us repair and heal…Thank you so very much and I hope you will have serious help to do what is so very necessary…We must help the Fire Department with their facility and Police, as well.

      33
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    • What Time Is It? says:

      I have voted for members of both parties and since campaign season has already begun, I’ll take the liberty to stir the political pot a little.
      I recall the NDPs Celebratory song during their 2003 Win; The song was about the VIP spending “Millions and millions and more” spending like “Drunken Sailors and Paving the guts”. Of course closer monitoring of the guts could have mitigated the impact of the flooding last August Monday. Another line of the song was about the mountain of dirt along the seaside, removed from the foundation in preparation for construction of the new hospital. In the song the pile of dirt was renamed Mount Savage. Savage I think, was the name of the governor at the time. Nevertheless, Peebles Hospital, one of the region’s most modern hospital now sits on the spot from which the pile of dirt was removed and a lot of the pile of dirt went to the upgrade of Queen Elizabeth Park.

      Now my opinion: Politics, or rater, Representative governance is serious business. Recall the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” ?. Good (accountable, responsible, transparent governance) goes a long way to allow that to happen and should happen in every village; not based on how the village votes.

      In my opinion the party system isn’t working well for us. Instead, it puts us against each other; (its Divisive). How so?. The electorate and country as a whole suffer from one-sided, or lopsided representation. The Gravy Train stays parked on one side, only making occasional trips to the other side during campaign. Meanwhile the supporters of the losing party/ies, live off the crumbs from the table; as was revealed during Hurricane Irma grand exposure.
      Ten months after Irma we are again smack in the middle of another season, houses still in shambles with some folks still in shelters.

      Corruption also results in government as a result of having to please the supporting side at the expense of the other side. Meanwhile, but perhaps not intentionally, the supporting side gets blind-sided to the errors and mismanagement of governments moneys and resources while they continue to live well.

      There are however solutions to the paradox; especially now, after Irma; as “I can see clearly now” as the song goes.
      Country above self.
      We are all God’s children with the tragedy of Slavery in our backgrounds; a resilient people. survivors, given the experiences of our lives and circumstances.

      The decisions we make today can have long impacting outcomes.

      16
      • Theo says:

        I’m not knocking what you’re saying, for a unified vision would take us somewhere better than where we are more than politicking. I suddenly realised the other reason why there are dictatorships.

  3. PLEASE says:

    REBUILD OUR HIGH SCHOOL

    20
  4. Eagle eye says:

    Not even festival flags we can afford right now it rough.

    10
    3
  5. border protection says:

    I took a drive on Sunday evening and drove to West End. Dark had just set in and I saw a vehicle beaming its light under a tent at the West End dock. Initially I thought it might have been guys hanging out and playing dominoes. Driving up closer I was shocked to see that they were customs officers trying to wrap up their day’s work. The wind was strong and I could see rocks being used as paper weights. I was embarrassed to say the least. Very embarrassed.

    Rumor has it that in the Admin building, the most money is being spent on a lavish Premier’s Office. I’ve been to other departments, and its only God’s grace how the staff is surviving. Yes, we had a crisis, and yes, it will take a while for things to come to a comfortable phase, but while some are in obvious lavish, others are ignored. People, Customs and Immigration officers guard our borders. We have to treat them right and respect the office of these great men and ladies who do these jobs.

    26
  6. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Is the RDA an alternative government that will be calling the shots as to what project(s) are rolled out and in what order? Should not the local government be out front setting the project priority with the RDA serving as the project manager? Does the need for an RDA as dictated by the UK demonstrated a lack of trust and confidence in local government?

    Is it not interesting that the BVI was decimated by Hurricanes Irmaria and the UK response was not recovery grants but co-signing loans but only if an RDA is established?
    Did the Dutch and French do the same thing in Sint/Saint Maarten/Martin?

    Does this development (RDA) give credence to the belief that countries, agencies………etc led by and managed by persons of African descent are poorly led, ineffective, mismanaged and corrupt? Is this an embarrassing period for the government, VI and its people? Is this the worst and painful time for the VI? Is the valiant effort by HL Stout and others being setback? Will history be unkind to our current leaders?

    Nonetheless, students, and Customs and Immigration working under tents after 10 months after the passage of hurricanes Irmaria is an untenable situation. It creates poor morale, poor working conditions, low productivity, an embarrassing situation, creates a negative image for both residents and visitors……etc. The recovery effort must proceed with alacrity. However, the effort must be well-planned, programmed, implemented and executed. It is an opportunity to correct the poor planning and missteps of the past. Lets get the show on the road.

    16
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    • No! says:

      It has been said over and over by Mr. Faulkner that the RDA is not a Government unto themselves. The Government lays out the framework for what needs to be done and the RDA is responsible for working alongside the relevant Ministries and executing the projects. Funding etc. will be handled via the RDA but they are not a Government unto themselves.

      • PO says:

        @NO!, I hear you. Nonetheless, despite Mr. Faulkner ‘s assertion that the RDA is not an alternative government, the look from either the 30’ or 30,000’ level screams that it is. A visitor from outer space looking at the situation will more than likely conclude that the RDA is an alternative government. The VI is an OT of the UK with internal self government responsibilities, for the most part. Consequently, it through its ministeries led by Finance and MCW should be planning, programming, budgeting, executing……..etc the recovery effort.

        Instead, it seems like it still has its training wheels on. Furthermore, the UK distrusts and lacks confidence in government’s financial stewardship and fiduciary responsibility performance. Thus, it fashioned the RDA as check valve on government, stating that if the BVI wants it to co-sign for approximately £300M($400M) in loans it must established the RDA. The UK is not to fault; the BVI puts itself in this embarrassing state.

        Moreover, the BVI is over a barrel in regards to borrowing. Though having a relatively low debt go GDP ratio (~15%), the BVI due to the lack of certified audited annual financial statements (6 years) is having difficulty borrowing money at a low APR, per Financial Secretary. The loan sharks are salivating. Therefore, in spite of the insult and swallowing its national pride/progress, it must try to borrow money from lenders with the UK as a co-sign.

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    • Mango says:

      The French and Dutch islands are legally part of those countries so different rules apply. That’s why the British guaranteed loans instead of just giving it to us. It’s also true that they don’t trust us with the money and who can blame them? Our track record is appalling with corruption and failing to sign off on government accounts. No wonder they want to control the money they stand to lose if we default.

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    • Really? says:

      What stupidness is this? Dressed up as serious political comment, too.
      The RDA is being directed by the government and is working through ministries to get the rebuild plan carried out. That’s just a fact, no matter how you want to twist it.
      It was a demand from the UKGov that the RDA be there because, yes, the BVIGov has shown that money cannot be handled responsibly. Do you deny this? Do you really not understand that those considering lending us money will want to be sure it goes to where we say it will go? And that it will be fully audited? What advantage for the people could there be for BVIGov to go begging money and then play fast and loose with it like it has all the time?
      And you add a race issue in there, too? Serious? Because a set of people have shown themselves unable to handle our finances properly, and those set of people happen to be of African descent, you assume that racism is behind the new RDA? So by that logic, any African descent person who is terrible with money, or even corrupt, is better than a non-corrupt, heavily scrutinised authority that is ordered by the mother country and has some white people on it (we are the British VI, so why does it surprise you that they have some say in our territory?).
      Only people I see objecting to this is those who would have benefit from a slice, a contract, a windfall if the usual suspects was in charge. Now those people might lose out, so they using this kind of arguments to try to turn people against the RDA.
      Well we the people won’t be fooled. We just want a decent, honest BVI that is fair for all, not some system of handing out money to cronies AND GETTING NOTHING DONE.

      8
      4
    • For Heaven Sake says:

      You scared about something. Would you want the current Government be responsible themselves for recovery. Take out of their hands yes and let RDA do what is was created for. Government wanted to hold a Fire Sale on the Airport, Water & Sewerage, BVIEC etc.. Set themselves up for life and you have the nerve to ask this! We tried this crap over and over. Let someone else put the place proper.

  7. Dan Holdsworth says:

    Please get in touch and help us to bring an apprenticeship programme out to the BVI from the UK for your young people. We can help them learn the skills to rebuild your Territories.
    Tri4life Cycles 4 the Caribbean

    443 0443

    On the island until Saturday 4th

    12
    1
  8. Retired says:

    Glad your here Mr. Bayley.

    West End – Customs & Immigration should have moved some of their border operations into the tan 20′ container office by now. Their nearly 11 month old tents are a national disgrace for a visitor entry port.

    Tents – Are not all equal. Allied troops in Afghanistan have used air conditioned tents during that endless war for the last 15 years. The Capoons Bay Primary school may have to continue their tent school for the 2018/19 school year. If so these 10 month old tents should be air conditioned.

    3
    1
  9. What Time Is It? says:

    I have voted for members of both parties and since campaign season has already begun, I’ll take the liberty to stir the political pot a little.
    I recall the NDPs Celebratory song during their 2003 Win; The song was about the VIP spending “Millions and millions and more” spending like “Drunken Sailors and Paving the guts”. Of course closer monitoring of the guts could have mitigated the impact of the flooding last August Monday. Another line of the song was about the mountain of dirt along the seaside, removed from the foundation in preparation for construction of the new hospital. In the song the pile of dirt was renamed Mount Savage. Savage I think, was the name of the governor at the time. Nevertheless, Peebles Hospital, one of the region’s most modern hospital now sits on the spot from which the pile of dirt was removed and a lot of the pile of dirt went to the upgrade of Queen Elizabeth Park.

    Now my opinion: Politics, or rater, Representative governance is serious business. Recall the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” ?. Good (accountable, responsible, transparent governance) goes a long way to allow that to happen and should happen in every village; not based on how the village votes.

    In my opinion the party system isn’t working well for us. Instead, it puts us against each other; (its Divisive). How so?. The electorate and country as a whole suffer from one-sided, or lopsided representation. The Gravy Train stays parked on one side, only making occasional trips to the other side during campaign. Meanwhile the supporters of the losing party/ies, live off the crumbs from the table; as was revealed during Hurricane Irma grand exposure.
    Ten months after Irma we are again smack in the middle of another season, houses still in shambles with some folks still in shelters.

    Corruption also results in government as a result of having to please the supporting side at the expense of the other side. Meanwhile, but perhaps not intentionally, the supporting side gets blind-sided to the errors and mismanagement of governments moneys and resources while they continue to live well.

    There are however solutions to the paradox; especially now, after Irma; as “I can see clearly now” as the song goes.
    Country above self.
    We are all God’s children with the tragedy of Slavery in our backgrounds; a resilient people. survivors, given the experiences of our lives and circumstances.

    The decisions we make today can have long impacting outcomes.

  10. Len says:

    For those of you who keep saying that Virgin Islanders are lazy..THINK AGAIN ! It goes to show how determine our people are to work under those deplorable conditions for the better of our country.

    Very proud of the many civil servants who continue to work under challenging conditions! (The teachers, fire fighters, police, customs & immigration), THANK YOU!

    #VI Proud!

    18
    • Lool says:

      The choice is not to come to work and lose their job. No choice. Lazy stands.

      3
      6
    • Uncle Buck says:

      Lazy stands. Nothing changes, PWD will still be half arsing with everything they do. Six guys will still be standing about while one guy pretends to work. BVIEC will continue to routinely manufacture faults to get their overtime. The government will continue to fill their pockets at their people’s expense. Shop staff will continue to move their hands at snails pace while interrupting the job to answer their phone and have a conversation. There is little professionalism in the BVI and a lot of people are incredibly lazy.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Again, we join the previous blog in expressing our profound gratitude to the teachers, fire fighters, police, customs & immigration civil servants for their courageous and dedicated work.

    Such mirrors and replicate the kind of work and commitment that brought us and country from despair and deprivation.

    After the British left our ancestors to eat rocks and drink sea water for sustenance, because there was no more riches to be gained and no free labor from which to extract profits to enlarge the Brits coffers.

    Since neither our ancestors or us we never paid,,,,, then it is not unreasonable to suggest and claim these Territories as and are ours, despite the views of those, such as Mr. Holdsworth, who wishes to see the horrid legacy of colonialism and the disenfranchisement of African peoples continue indefinitely.

    It is hoped that in our lifetime the minds that are capable of executing us and our lands out of the colonial grip will do so expeditiously.

    After all, they have some place to live and call home which is England, and it and they are free from foreign domination.

    Why then are they still so comfortable in dominating and taking from others that which are their human and sovereign rights? Who endowed them with such authority? The sword, gun,warship and death of course.

    After working the soil for four hundred years without a payday whilst making them rich, and after occupying same lands continuously ever since the journey away from our homeland, tucked away in ship holes whilst being thought of and treated less than cattle, the notion that these territories still belong to entities other than us is insulting, vexing, revolutionizing, erroneous, unethical and immoral.

    Finally, the current status is what it is, but it must change politically in our favor some day. It is the right, just and correct human thing to do Mr. Holdsworth.

    1
    3
    • Fandango says:

      ‘After all, they have some place to live and call home which is England, and it and they are free from foreign domination.”
      Not quite yet but next March they will….

    • Uncle Buck says:

      You can’t seriously believe all that rubbish! I’ve never heard a more inappropriate and naïve account of history. Your bitterness and resentment has clouded your judgement and placed you in your own little glass house from whence you pick up the rocks you once ate and start throwing them to the sky. Guess what, all that glass you put up will come crashing on your own head. Nobody else’s.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lool, we are saddened to read such hatred and untruths directed at our people coming from you.

    Were you in the BVI when there were no economy; no such thing as tourism; no white folk and no money?

    Our people came out of slavery and into post slavery working and never being lazy. If they were lazy, they would not have built what they have today, and you would not have left from where ever you come from to come here to achieve economic success.

    Their sweat and toil built what you are after, and laziness did not build nine of it.

    There are lazy individuals in every society and race across the globe, but few to none could be found and still so of the authentic VIslander/BVIslander.

    An authentic BVIslander is one in which both parents were born in the BVI, and whose parental roots are traceable traced back generations being born in the BVIs.

    Though some have been spoiled in recent times due to easy access to life’s necessities, that should not be construed as “we” being lazy.

    Question is, how many of them that are portraying lazy tendencies are actual authentic VIslanders stock?

    The majority of BVIslanders are not lazy! So, i take and am personally offended by such a comment and protest it vociferously.

    Do you know how hard my parents worked? I saw my mother work from can’t see in the morning until can’t see at night, just like slavery days.

    With the advent of tourism and hotel accommodations, i saw her and many like her work two shifts and yet never made enough to take care of their family. So, who had time or thoughts of being lazy living under such exploitative economic conditions?

    Do you know or can even fathom how hard their parents, and their parents, parents and their parents, parents, parents work for their children to have a better day? a day of which you are now partaking in as an economic migrant.

    The audacity of ungratefulness!!!

    To insult our people in such a thoughtless and hateful manner suggest a huge degree of resentment and ungratefulness.

    You should leave the BVI at the next available opportunity, which was yesterday, and even then is to late. AS, your thoughts and writings have disgraced the sweat, tears, work and desecrated the spirit of our ancestors.

    Who gave you the authority to publicly judge us, and in such a horrific and demeaning, i am right manner?

    4
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    • RealPol says:

      @Anonymous, real talk. The real McCoy! So many people who was invited among our midst called down the BVI and BVIslanders. Their homeland is so much better; it is paradise on earth yet they refuse to leave. A regiment of Marines could not get them to leave. Why berate your adopted homeland? Instead help to make the BVI better, stronger. BVI strong!

    • Special says:

      Much of what you say is true but did you know that all across the world, all across history, people have faced Impossible situations and terrible deprivations and ALSO worked their b—s off? BVIslanders are mostly uninterested in any other history than their own and as a result they think they are more special than anyone. We are special, yes, but so are many other peoples of the world. Once you realize that, you don’t put yourself above others just because they aren’t born where you born. If all you want to hear and tell is your own myths of your own ancestor’s heroism, greatness, oppression, etc. you will think you are greater than anyone. You teach your children to see the world like this and they grow up thinking they are greater than anyone – and so it goes. If you don’t teach them to respect others, to have enquiring minds and to use empathy to understand, they will only fill their thoughts with their own greatness and suck their teeth in contempt at others. This is how it has gone. We now have a generation with no respect for anyone but themselves, who think their story shows them to be great heroes – without having to lift a finger to earn that status. You disrespect everyone else whose circumstances you judge because you don’t care to step into anyone else’s shoes – your shoes are the only ones that count, so you show inflated and thoughtless understanding of what ‘pride’ should really mean. All of this is not to deny the heroes past and the BVI’s hard workers, but to balance the nonsense some of you talk about our greatness. Yes we are great, but that in is not the whole story.

  13. Pil says:

    Time to stop the ministers from micromanaging everything. They are there to formulate policies with the help of department heads. After that the civil servants take over. The ministers of NDP want to make policies,then decide how they must be implemented, decide who get the contracts and run the whole show. There is a lack of honesty and integrity in the whole thing. Take a good look at education including school buildings, roads, PROSPECT Reef,other services. Destruction all around. Not from the Hurricanes, but the elected men in place. Time for a wake up call.

    3
    1
  14. Leadership says:

    The fundamental problem (besides a general lack of community fomented by generations of sniping and petty fighting) is that those in charge don’t want to listen let alone consider advice from outsiders, a lot of which has been offered for decades. BVIs went from rags to riches in a short time and instead of using it wisely for the greater good, the leadership sought to squander it and or pocket it. Can anybody name a single publically funded project that was finished within time and budget in the last 25 years? We’re like those lucky enough to win millions in the lottery. Most of those are back at their jobs within 10 years because they don’t know and don’t kearn how to manage their new found wealth. Any estimate of how much labor might be needed to repair 7,000+ homes and all the major resorts in the next 5 years? Or, are we just making do with the labor we already have and greedily jacking up rates? Where exactly is the leadership? Oh, right…Orlando is off somewhere while his office is being fixed up yet C&I are in tents in West End.

    • Yes says:

      The key issue is national pride vs a desire to be rich. Bvislanders want both. But the first stops them accepting help from outsiders, so the second only comes when they find another way to get rich – some work hard and straight, some sell family land, but many buy a fast boat, pay a minister a gift in return for a contract, and so on. People are so high on pride they will actually accept disgustingness if it means they avoid outsiders help. And then they blame the outsider and become angry and hateful. I have been all over the world and never met such angry, hateful, pride-drunk people as some people are here. And telling me to leave doesn’t change the truth, it just avoids the point. Meanwhile, within the community of proud locals, crabs in a barrel, as always. Proud bvislanders should think about this a little instead of knee-jerk hating any criticism. It might help you achieve both things you desire, in a positive, harmonious way.

  15. @Lool says:

    It is being suggested that you desist from writing nonsense and insulting our people.

    Your ignorance and ungratefulness are misleading people who come to this public space to get some information.

    You have no clue how hard our fore-bearers worked, and your thoughts and ideas about their offspring have desecrated their spirit.

    If gratitude and thankfulness cannot be demonstrated, insults and ingratitude are not welcomed.

    3
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  16. New day says:

    6 years start before the hurricanes, and Mark did not finish the car park by the ferry terminal.

    Make this RDA thing permanent and change its name to NDA (National Development Agency). Local government, the UK and outside donors will provide the funding and the NDA will implement ALL projects without interference.

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    1
  17. Gordaguy2 says:

    Nice to see some grownups in the room.

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