BVI News

Gov’t told not to downplay hardship

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist

While stating that the National Democratic Party administration should not be blamed for the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie said the government should not mislead residents and the international community into believing that all is well in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

He said cleared roads are not an indication that the territory has recovered from the destruction caused mainly by category 5 hurricane Irma.

While there has been some headway after Irma and subsequently Hurricane Maria, several residents are still without proper access to housing, electricity, piped water, and communication technologies.

“We don’t want to create a full welfare situation. But if our people don’t get the help they need to get back on their feet, no matter what camouflage we put out there of the BVI rebounding [and] rebuilding; the true test will be when we see how the people are rebuilding – how they are rebounding,” Fahie said.

“We know that BVI is strong. But we want to be realistic with the people when we are speaking with them because, once we name the issues, they don’t mind struggling with us and building back,” Fahie further told Government parliamentarians during the first sitting of the House of Assembly since the hurricanes.

“We don’t want to make it seem like the BVI has bounced back,” the Opposition leader further said.

He, in the meantime, stated that it would be wrong to blame the government headed by Premier Dr D Orlando Smith for the hurricane.

“None of us knew what Irma would have done, and nobody can blame the government for what Irma has done. That would be wrong,” Fahie said, adding that Government still needs to be more ‘proactive’.

“We cannot be blamed for what happened, but when people know that you’ve done all that you can or could have done to prevent it, or to minimize it, or try to stop it, they will be more sympathetic,” added Fahie.

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