Residents are concerned that the Irma-destroyed retaining wall at the Cane Garden Bay public cemetery could hurt their tourism product if the problem is not addressed promptly.
Using the NDP Radio forum recently, one resident complained that tombs could get washed into the community’s beach if another major or minor disaster hits.
“I’m wondering how urgent is this matter to the government and how soon will it be taken cared of,” the female resident said.
“We were lucky this last surge that we had didn’t take them [tombs] out,” another resident and businessman said during a subsequent interview with BVI News.
He also noted that tombs in the community are already being undermined.
“I understand it [water] was going all the way in them. Some of the tombs have fallen; the sand has gone from under them and so it needs to be addressed as soon as possible,” he added.
The same businessman said tourists could be severely put off from Cane Garden Bay if caskets or bodies get washed ashore.
Even on Salt Island, the September disasters uprooted a body and flung it miles from the burial site.
CGB problem to be addressed soon
Minister with responsibility for cemeteries Ronnie Skelton has promised to address the issue at Cane Garden Bay ‘soon’.
He said the problem has not been addressed yet because of funding issues.
“It is one of the government’s top priorities,” Skelton said.
“We have a proposal on the table to sheet pile the seaward side of the cemetery. We are waiting on some funds to get it done and also to completely fence it and make it attractive again,” he added.
According to Skelton, contractors for the project are “ready to be mobilized”.
“That should be done as soon as the funds are ready,” he added.
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