Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Ronald Smith-Berkeley said Government has made good on its promise to assist farmers and fisherfolks to bounce back following the 2017 hurricanes.
In a recent interview with BVI News, Smith-Berkeley said more than quarter-million dollars were made available.
“For the most part people don’t want money in their hands, they just want help. The people in the farming industry needed water tanks, posts and wires, and what have you. We also ordered materials to rebuild fishing pots.”
He continued, “So that’s what we have been doing with the $300,000 that we received.”
He said the materials for both sectors were sourced in the Caribbean region and in the United States.
Distribution already underway
In the meantime, farmers and fisherfolk have started receiving some of the aforementioned items, the permanent secretary said.
“The water tanks are in and we have started distributing those. We have also assisted one or two fishermen with assistance in purchasing engines, so we are trying to do our best with what was available.”
In addition, a few container shipments are due in the territory sometime this month with more building materials.
“We try to help as many people as we can and [with] two or three container loads of posts and wires coming in, so we should be able to help a lot of people,” he added.
Based on the findings of a Department of Conservation & Fisheries assessment, the collective loss in local farming and fishing because of the hurricanes was roughly $13 million.
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