Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Governor with responsibility for Disaster Management, Sharleen DaBreo-Lettsome, has dismissed claims that food supplies from two years ago are being stored in containers at the festival grounds.
“There are supplies there but they are for the satellite warehouses that we are putting in the communities. We do not have any food supplies, and we couldn’t hold food supplies in those containers,” she told BVI News on Wednesday.
“These are supplies that we would use in the event of an emergency response. So they are water containers, lumber, taps — those types of things,” she added.
DaBreo-Lettsome said the containers are still at the Road Town-based location for various reasons.
She said the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) had to await an audit on the supplies by the United Kingdom. That audit is now completed.
“We are now waiting for the field to be cleared to sort them,” DaBreo-Lettsome said.
She also told BVI News the said containers arrived shortly before the Buju Banton show earlier this year. She said the supplies will be distributed to various locations on each of the four main islands after they are sorted.
The matter on these containers came into question by Territorial At-Large representative, Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith at the recent sitting of the House of Assembly
He said: “I noticed that there are some containers out there on the festival grounds, and as I can recall, those containers came here with hurricane relief or something like that two years ago. So why are those containers out there with stuff in it?”
Satellite warehouses are strategic locations across the territory where emergency relief supplies or contingency stocks are to be stored. They were created in an attempt to enhance community resilience during disasters.
The engineering of the satellite warehouses will be done in a way to ensure the containers are mounted on concrete platforms and secured to withstand high winds. These warehouses will also be adequately vented and outfitted to store supplies.
The warehouses will be managed and maintained by the DDM in conjunction with District Officers and non-governmental organisations using the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Logistics Support System (LSS).
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